Global Energy Review 2020 : IEA
Recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report namely, Global Energy Review:2020 which also includes the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on global energy demand and CO2 emissions.
- The imposition of lockdown in several countries has largely restricted transportation such as road and air travel. In turn, the drastic reduction in the global energy demands has been observed.
Global Energy Demands
- The countries in full lockdown are experiencing an average decline of 25% in energy demand per week, while in those with a partial lockdown, the fall in energy demand is about 18% per week.
- Global energy demand declined by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019.
- Further, it is expected that the impact of Covid‑19 on energy demand in 2020 would be more than seven times larger than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on global energy demand.
the above scenario the global demand of various energy sources can be analysed
as given below:
- Coal Demand:
- It has been declined by 8% compared with the first quarter of 2019.
- The reasons for such decline include, China – a coal-based economy – was the country hardest hit by Covid‑19 in the first quarter and cheap gas and continued growth in renewables elsewhere challenged coal.
- Oil Demand:
- It has declined by 5% in the first quarter, majorly due to curtailment in mobility and aviation, which account for nearly 60% of global oil demand.
- The report also estimates that the global demand for oil could further drop by 9% on average in 2020, which will return oil consumption to 2012 levels.
- Gas Demand:
- The impact of the pandemic on gas demand has been moderate, at around 2%, as gas-based economies were not strongly affected in the first quarter of 2020.
- Renewables Energy Resources Demand:
- It is the only source that has registered a growth in demand, driven by larger installed capacity.
- Further, the demand for renewables is expected to rise by 1% by 2020 because of low operating costs and preferential access for many power systems.
- Electricity Demand:
- It has been declined by 20% during periods of full lockdown in several countries.
- However, the residential demand is outweighed by reductions in commercial and industrial operations.
- Coal Demand:
Covid-19 and CO2 Emissions
- Overall, the emissions decline in 2020 could be 8% lower than in 2019, which would be the lowest level of emissions since 2010.
- It is also the largest level of emission reduction — six times larger than witnessed during the 2009 financial crisis, and twice as large as the combined total of all reductions witnessed since World War II.
- In the first quarter of 2020, the decline in CO2 emissions is more than the fall in global energy demand.
India’s Energy Demands
- India, which is one of the IEA association countries, has experienced a reduction in its energy demands by 30% as a result of the nation-wide lockdown.
in India, where economic growth and power production are slowing significantly,
the demand for coal is expected to decline steeply.
- China and India are the largest and third-largest electricity users in the world respectively, and coal use is dominant in both these countries shaping the global demand for this fuel.
International Energy Agency
- The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy.
- It was established in the wake of 1973 (set up in 1974) oil crisis after the OPEC cartel had shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices.
- It is headquartered in Paris, France.
- World Enegry Outlook report is released by IEA annually.
- India became an associate member of the International Energy Agency in 2017.
- Mexico officially became the International Energy Agency’s 30th member country in February 2018, and its first member in Latin America.
Core Sector Shrinks by 6.5%
According to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the eight core sector industries contracted by 6.5% in March, 2020.
- The cumulative growth of eight core sector industries during 2019-20 was 0.6%.
- In February, 2020, the eight core sector industries recorded a growth of 5.5%.
out of eight core sectors contracted in the month of March.
- The contraction was led by steel production, electricity, cement production, natural gas production, fertiliser production, crude oil production and petroleum & refinery production.
- Coal was the only core sector which saw growth.
- The contraction in the core sector has occurred despite the fact that several of the core sector industries were given exemptions under the lockdown. E.g electricity and steel which are continuous processes and were not stopped.
- However, the movement of goods faced major restrictions due the nationwide lockdown, resulting in reduced demand which led to reduced production.
March core sector data also reflected the cut in capital expenditure by
both state and central governments in order to make up for falling tax
- The capital expenditure is defined as the money spent on the acquisition of assets like land, buildings, machinery, equipment, as well as investment in shares.
- High capital expenditure usually means more investment by the government towards the creation of infrastructure and other assets that are crucial for rapid economic growth.
Core Sector Industries
- The eight core sector industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity
- The eight core industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
- The eight Core Industries in decreasing order of their weightage: Refinery Products> Electricity> Steel> Coal> Crude Oil> Natural Gas> Cement> Fertilizers.
|Industry||Weight (In percentage)|
|Petroleum & Refinery production||28.04|
|Crude Oil production||8.98|
|Natural Gas production||6.88|
Index of Industrial Production
- The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an indicator that measures the changes in the volume of production of industrial products during a given period.
- It is compiled and published monthly by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of
industry groups classified under:
- Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.
- Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods, and Intermediate Goods.
- Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012.
- The eight core industries of India represent about 40% of the weight of items that are included in the IIP.
of IIP :
- It is used by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, etc, for policy-making purposes.
- IIP remains extremely relevant for the calculation of the quarterly and advance GDP estimates.
Permanent Mission to UN
India has appointed T S Tirumurti as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN).
- Permanent Mission to the United Nations
- It is the diplomatic mission that every member state deputes to the UN.
- It is headed by a Permanent Representative who is also referred to as the UN ambassador.
- According to Article 1(7) of the Vienna Convention on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations of a Universal Character, 1975 it is a mission of permanent character, representing the State, sent by a State member of an international organization to the organization.
- Other important Vienna Conventions are the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.
- According to the UN General Assembly resolution 257(III) of 3rd December, 1948, permanent missions assist in the realization of the purposes and principles of the UN.
- They keep the necessary liaison between the Member States and the Secretariat in periods between sessions of the different organs of the UN.
- UN Permanent Representatives are assigned to the UN headquarters in New York City, and at other offices in Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi as well.
- Indian Permanent Mission at the United Nations
- There are currently eight Indians in senior leadership positions at the UN at the levels of Under Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General.
- The first Indian delegates at the UN included statesman Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar and freedom fighters Hansa Mehta, Lakshmi N. Menon and Vijayalakshmi Pandit
- Mehta and Pandit were among the 15 women members of the Indian Constituent Assembly.
- India was among the select members of the UN that signed the United Nations Declaration at Washington on 1st January, 1942.
- India also participated in the historic UN Conference of International Organization at San Francisco from 25th April to 26th June, 1945.
- As a founding member of the United Nations, India strongly supports the purposes and principles of the UN and has made significant contributions to implementing the goals of the Charter, and the evolution of the UN’s specialized programmes and agencies.
Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar (1887-1976)
- One of the prominent lawyers of his time and joined the Justice Party in 1917.
- Took part in Joint Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms in India and the Round Table Conferences.
- He was India’s delegate to the San Francisco Conference.
- In 1946 he was elected the first President of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
- He also served as the chair of the executive boards of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Hansa Mehta (1897-1995)
- After studying Journalism and Sociology from England, she returned to India and served as the President of the Bhagini Samaj and played a crucial role during the campaign against the Simon Commission.
- She was the first woman to be elected to the Bombay Legislative Council in 1931.
- She represented India on the Nuclear Sub-Committee on the status of women in 1946.
- As the Indian delegate on the UN Human Rights Commission (now known as the UN Human Rights Council) in 1947–48, she was responsible for changing the language Justice Party of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from “all men are created equal” to “all human beings”, highlighting the need for gender equality.
Lakshmi Menon (1899-1994)
- She was one of the founder members of the All India Women’s Conference.
- She was India’s delegate to the Third Committee in 1948 and argued forcefully in favour of non-discrimination based on sex and “the equal rights of men and women” in the in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- In 1949-1950, she headed the UN Section on the Status of Women and Children.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990)
- She led the Indian delegation to the UN (1946-48 and 1952-53).
- In 1953, she became the first woman to be elected president of the UN General Assembly.
- In 1978, she was appointed the Indian representative to the UN Human Rights Commission.
J&K and Article 54
Recently, in a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query “if the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be part of the Electoral College for the election of the President of India”, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked to refer to Article 54 of the Constitution of India.
- Article 54 specifically mentions NCT of Delhi and Puducherry as eligible to be part of the Electoral College. There is no word about the newly-formed UT of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).
- Under Article 54, the President is elected by an Electoral College, which consists of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all the States and also of NCT of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
- Also the J&K Reorganisation Act, which came into existence from August 2019, does not specify anything about whether the legislature of J&K would be able to vote in the election for a President.
- Inclusion of new members in the Electoral College in Article 54 would require a Constitutional Amendment to be carried out through two-thirds majority in Parliament and ratification by over 50% of the States.
- Delhi and Puducherry were included as Electoral College members under Article 54 through the 70th Constitution Amendment Act of 1992.
- Before that, Article 54 consisted of only the elected Members of Parliament as well as the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
- However, according to some experts, Union territory of J&K would be able to participate in the President’s elections even without any Constitutional amendment.
- According to Section 13 of the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, the provisions contained in article 239A, which are applicable to “Union territory of Puducherry”, shall also apply to the “Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir”.
Election of the President of India
President is elected indirectly by members of electoral college consisting
- the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament;
- the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states;
- the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
election is held in accordance with the system of proportional
representation by means of the single transferable vote. Secret ballot is
used in voting.
- In the proportional representation system, each voter will have only one vote but a voter can indicate his preference for as many contesting candidates as he likes in order of his/her preference or choice.
- The President’s tenure is for five years and he is eligible for immediate re- election and can serve any number of terms.
- There is a uniformity in the scale of representation of different states as well as parity between the states as a whole and the Union at the election of the President.
- All doubts and disputes in connection with election are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.
- If the election of a person as President is declared void by the Supreme Court, acts done by him before the date of such declaration of the Supreme Court are not invalidated and continue to remain in force.
- Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
Erosion in Ladakh and Zanskar
The scientists and students from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) have explored the Zanskar catchment area.
study was conducted to understand the landform evolution in transitional
climatic zones, using morphostratigraphy, Optically Stimulated
Luminescence (OSL) dating and provenance analysis of landforms like valley
fill terraces and alluvial fans.
- Valley Fill Terrace: The fill terrace is created either a stream or river starts to incise into the material that it deposited in the valley. Once this occurs benches composed completely of alluvium form on the sides of the valley. The upper most benches are the fill terraces.
- Alluvial Fans: Triangle-shaped deposit of gravel, sand and even smaller pieces of sediment, such as silt.
- WHIG is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
- It is one of the largest tributaries of the upper Indus catchment.
- It drains transversely northward from the Higher Himalaya, dominated by the Indian summer monsoon, to flow through the arid, westerlies-dominated, highly folded and thrusted Zanskar ranges in Ladakh.
- The Doda and the Tsarap Lingti Chu confluence at Padam to form the Zanskar, which in turn joins the Indus at Nimu.
- Zanskar valley can be divided into upper and lower divisions, separated by a gorge of nearly 60 km in length.
Morphostratigraphy: The organization of rock or sediment strata into units based on their surface morphology (landforms).
Optically-Stimulated Luminescence: It is a late Quaternary dating technique used to date the last time a quartz sediment was exposed to light. As sediment is transported by wind, water or ice, it is exposed to sunlight and zeroed of any previous luminescence signal.
Provenance Analysis: It aims to determine the source region (provenance) of a sediment sample. It is aimed to reconstruct the parent rock or rocks of sand bodies, the time of deposition of the sand and, if possible, the climate conditions during the formation of the sediments.
- Scientists traced where the rivers draining Himalaya and its foreland erode the most and identified the zones which receive these eroded sediments and fill up.
study suggested that the wide valley of Padam in the upper Zanskar is
a hotspot of sediment buffering and has stored a vast amount
- The sediment contribution from such transient basins is significant when compared to the sediment reportedly eroded from the entire Indus system in Ladakh.
- Most of the sediments in the Padam valley were derived from Higher Himalayan crystalline that lie in the headwater region of Zanskar.
- The dominant factors responsible for sediment erosion were deglaciation and Indian Summer Monsoon derived precipitation in the headwaters.
- The provenance analysis suggested that despite the presence of the deep narrow gorge and a low gradient, the upper and lower Zanskar valleys remained connected throughout their aggradational history.
- The study will help to understand river-borne erosion and sedimentation, which are the main drivers that make large riverine plains, terraces and deltas that eventually become the evolving grounds for civilizations.
- The study brought forwards the 35 thousand-year history of river erosion and identified hotspots of erosion and wide valleys that act as buffer zones.
showed how rivers in drier Ladakh Himalaya operated on longer time
scales and how they responded to varying climates.
- The Ladakh Himalaya forms a high altitude desert between Greater Himalayan ranges and Karakoram Ranges and the Indus and its tributaries are major rivers flowing through the terrain.
- Understanding of water and sediment routing becomes crucial while developing infrastructure and for other development works in the river catchment area.
Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile App
Due to nationwide lockdown because of Covid-19 crisis, people are using Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile App to locate their nearest Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) and availability of affordable generic medicine with its price.
- Janaushadhi Sugam App has been developed by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
helps people to
- Locate nearby Janaushadhi kendras(through Google Maps).
- Search Janaushadhi generic medicine.
- Analyse product comparison of generic v/s branded medicines in the form of MRP & overall savings etc.
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) are set up across the country under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) so as to provide generic medicines.
drugs are marketed under a non-proprietary
or approved name rather than brand name. These are equally effective and
inexpensive compared to their counterparts.
- By taking generic medicines patients can reduce his/her expenditure on medicines drastically.
- Generic medicines are sold at 50% to 90% lesser prices as compared to the market prices of branded medicines.
- The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency for PMBJP.
- All drugs procured under this scheme are tested for quality assurance at NABL (National Accreditation Board Laboratories) accredited laboratories and are compliant with WHO GMP (World Health Organisation’s Good Manufacturing Practices) benchmarks.
- Government grants of up to 2.5 lakhs are provided for setting up of PMBJKs.
- They can be set up by doctors, pharmacists, entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups, NGOs, Charitable Societies, etc. at any suitable place or outside the hospital premises.
AYUSH Entrepreneurship Programme
Recently, AYUSH Entrepreneurship Development programme was jointly organized by the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for promoting the AYUSH sector in the country under different Schemes of the Ministry of MSME.
- AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy.
faced by the AYUSH sector:
- Quality standards of Medicines – Scientific validation of AYUSH has not progressed in spite of dedicated expenditure in the past.
- Lack of human resources – Practitioners are moving away from traditional systems for better opportunities.
- The existing infrastructure remains under-utilized.
- There is a great demand for Indian Ayurveda, Yoga, Homeopathy, Siddha in other countries, existing entrepreneurs can take this opportunity & open their clinics/ outlets there & support export.
- The raw materials of Ayurveda are usually found in Forest area, rural areas, tribal areas, aspiration districts & there is a need for Processing units, clusters there for Job creation, enterprise development, self employment.
- The two Ministries have drawn up an action plan for promoting AYUSH Sector. The plan includes roping AYUSH clusters in the schemes of the Ministry of MSME.
- Major AYUSH clusters include: Ahmedabad, Hubli, Thrissur, Solan, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kannur, Karnal, Kolkata and Nagpur.
are the schemes:
- Zero Defect Zero Effect/Lean – Good Manufacturing Practice.
- Procurement & Marketing Support Scheme – National/International Trade, fair, Exhibition, Government e-Marketplace, Packaging, E-Marketing, Export.
- Advanced Training Institute (ATI) – Capacity Building & Skill Development.
- Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme (ESDP), Incubation – Start-Up/Enterprise Development.
- Credit Linked Credit Subsidy (CLCS), Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) – Financial support
GI Tags to Two Products
Recently, Chak-Hao, the black rice of Manipur and the Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) terracotta have bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
- Chak-Hao is a scented glutinous (sticky) rice which has been in cultivation in Manipur over centuries, and is characterised by its special aroma.
- The rice is black in colour and takes the longest cooking time of 40-45 minutes due to the presence of a fibrous bran layer and higher crude fibre content.
- It is normally eaten during community feasts and is served as Chak-Hao kheer.
- Chak-Hao has also been used by traditional medical practitioners as part of traditional medicine.
- The terracotta work of Gorakhpur is a centuries-old traditional art form.
- The entire work is done with bare hands.
- The clay used in the terracotta products is ‘Kabis’
clay which is found in the ponds of Aurangabad, Bharwalia and Budhadih
- Also, such clay is found only in the months of May and June, as for the rest of the year, the ponds are filled with water.
- The potters do not use any colour, they
only dip the clay structure in a mixture of soda and mango tree barks, and bake
- The red colour of terracotta does not fade for years.
- Major products of craftsmanship include the Hauda elephants, Mahawatdar horse, deer, camel, five-faced Ganesha, single-faced Ganesha, elephant table, chandeliers, hanging bells etc.
Geographical Indication (GI)
- It is an insignia on products having a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries with regard to its special quality or reputed attributes.
- It is a mark of authenticity and ensures that registered authorized users or at least those residing inside the geographic territory are allowed to use the popular product names.
- GI tag in India is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999. It is issued by the Geographical Indications Registry (Chennai).
Benefits of GI Tag
- It provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications thus preventing unauthorized use of the registered GIs by others.
- It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.
- The GI protection in India leads to recognition of the product in other countries thus boosting exports.
International Workers’ Day
Every year, 1st May is celebrated as the International Workers’ Day and as Labour Day in different parts of the world to commemorate the contributions of workers and the historic labour movements.
- It is a day when the International Labour Organisation (ILO), nations, employers and workers from all over the world commit themselves towards the collective efforts of promoting decent work for all.
- In 1889, the Second International, an organisation created by socialist and labour parties, declared that 1st May would be commemorated as International Workers’ Day from then on.
- On 1st May 1904, the International Socialist Congress at Amsterdam, the Netherlands called for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day for the class demands of the proletariat and made it mandatory upon the proletarian organisations of all countries to stop work on this day.
- The USA celebrates Labor day on the first Monday of September, every year. The USA recognised the day as a federal holiday in 1894.
- Canada also celebrates the Labour day on the same day as the US.
- Labor day was designated as a day in support of workers by trade unions and socialist groups in the memory of the Haymarket affair of 1886 in Chicago, USA. It gave the workers’ movement a great impetus.
- Haymarket Affair was a peaceful rally in support of workers which led to a violent clash with the police, leading to severe casualties. Those who died were hailed as “Haymarket Martyrs”.
- Workers’ rights violations, straining work hours, poor working conditions, low wages and child labour were the issues highlighted in the protest.
- The USA celebrates Labor day on the first Monday of September, every year. The USA recognised the day as a federal holiday in 1894.
- The Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc nations started celebrating the Labor day after the Russian Revolution, 1917.
- Impact of Russian Revolution: New ideologies such as Marxism and Socialism inspired many socialist and communist groups and they attracted peasants and workers and made them an integral part of national movement.
- It became a national holiday during the Cold War.
- The Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc nations started celebrating the Labor day after the Russian Revolution, 1917.
- In India, Labor day was first celebrated in 1923, after the Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan initiated the celebrations and Comrade Singaravelar (Singaravelu Chettiar) continued the celebrations.
- Comrade Singaravelar was one of the leaders of the Self Respect movement in the Madras Presidency and passed a resolution stating the government should allow everybody a national holiday on Labour Day.
Lifeline Udan Initiative
A total of 415 flights have been operated under the ‘Lifeline Udan’ initiative by various air carriers.
- The cargo transported till date is around 779.86 tons and aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights is over 4 lakh kilometres.
‘Lifeline Udan’ intends to transport essential medical cargo to remote
parts of the country amid the lockdown to support India’s fight
- The essential cargo include goods such as regents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits and PPE, masks, gloves and other essential items as applicable by the State and Union Territory Governments.
is launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to ensure a
steady supply of essentials, even in the most remote locations in the country.
- However, the special focus has been on the North East Region, island territories and the hill states.
- The flights under the initiative ‘Lifeline Udan’ have been operated by Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force, Pawan Hans and private carriers.
- It is to be noted that ‘Lifeline Udan’ is different from the UDAN where the former focuses on the transport of medical essentials to fight against Covid-19 and latter focuses purely on the regional connectivity in the country.
- Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) was launched as a regional connectivity scheme under the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016.
- It is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market.
- It aims to create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns.
Atulya: Microwave Steriliser
Recently, the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology has developed a microwave steriliser named as ‘Atulya’ to disintegrate Covid-19 virus.
- The Covid-19 virus gets disintegrated by differential heating of Atulya in the range of 56° to 60° Celsius temperatures.
- Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune is a deemed university supported by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- Atulya is a cost effective solution, which can be operated in portable or fixed installations.
- It has been tested for human/operator safety and found to be safe.
time of sterilisation can be varied from 30 seconds to one minute depending
upon size and shape of various objects.
- Sterilisation refers to any process that eliminates, removes, kills, or deactivates all forms of life (in particular referring to microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spores, etc.) and other biological agents.
- Approximate weight of the system is 3 kilogrammes and it can be used for non-metallic objects only.