International Solar Alliance (ISA):-
International Solar Alliance (ISA ) is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.
The Paris declaration on International Solar Alliance states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies for countries’ individual needs.
Mission & Vision:-
ISA’s Mission and Vision is to provide a platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where global community including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to the common goals of increasing utilizing of solar energy in meeting energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
The overarching objective is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security & sustainable development; improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.
ISA Focus Area:-
To achieve the objectives, ISA will have five key focus areas:-
- Promote solar technologies and investment in the solar sector to enhance income generation for the poor and global environment: Encourage member countries to promote investment in solar technologies/applications in areas of lighting, heating, cooling, distillation, desalination, disinfection, sterilization, pasteurization, pumping, storage, refrigeration, telecommunication, irrigation, drinking water supply, energy efficiency, etc. to promote income and welfare of the poor and make global environment more climate friendly;
- Formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications: Together and with partnership of member countries and with cooperation from international organizations, UN member countries, multilaterals, bi-laterals, corporates, non-profits, institutions of member and non-member countries of ISA, formulate projects and programmes to ensure solar light for energy deprived households by the year 2022.
- Develop innovative Financial Mechanisms to reduce cost of capital: Partnering to develop innovative financial mechanism to access low-cost, long tenure financial resources from bilateral, multilateral agencies and other sources
- Build a common Knowledge e-Portal: Build a knowledge platform, including a 24×7 e-portal for sharing of policy development experiences and best practices in member countries
- Facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R&D among member countries: Promote partnerships among R&D centres of member countries for application oriented research & development and delivering technologies to people as well as capacity building through training & educational programmes and exchange of officials/ entrepreneurs/sector experts/ students/interns/ apprentices, user groups etc
These focus areas will cater to not just grid connected solar power (Solar parks, Solar thermal projects, Rooftop solar projects, Canal top projects, Solar on water bodies, Farmers and unemployed youths as generators) but also off-grid and decentralised applications (Village electrification and mini-grids, Solar lanterns, Mobile chargers, Solar powered telecom towers, Milk chilling centres, Potters wheels, Solar spinner for weavers, street lights, Solar pumps, Solar heating/cooling, etc.). These activities will contribute significantly in employment generation in a decentralized manner at the local levels, and also in spurring economic activities.
To achieve the above overarching objectives, ISA, by way of supplementing the national efforts of the member countries, through appropriate means will undertake following activities:-
- Collaborations for joint research, development and demonstration, sharing information and knowledge, capacity building, supporting technology hubs and creating networks
- Acquisition, diffusion and indigenization and absorption of knowledge, technology and skills by local stakeholders in the member countries.
- Creation of expert groups for development of common standards, test, monitoring and verification protocols
- Creation of partnerships among country specific technology centres for supporting technology absorption for promoting energy security and energy access; v. Exchange of officials/ technology specialists for participation in the training programmes on different aspects of solar energy in the member countries
- Encourage companies in the member countries to set up joint ventures
- Sharing of solar energy development experiences, analysis on short and longer-term issues in key energy supply, financing practices, business models particularly for decentralized applications and off-grid applications, including creation of local platforms focusing on implementation solutions and grass root participation
- Establish new financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital in the renewable energy sector and innovative financing to develop
- Collaborate with other multilateral bodies like International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN), United Nations bodies; bilateral organizations; Corporates, industry, and other stakeholders can contribute towards the goal of increasing utilization of solar energy in ISA member countries
The Countries are given for reference purpose only:-
LIST OF PROSPECTIVE MEMBER COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES FOR ISA
- People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Republic of Angola
- Argentina Republic
- Commonwealth of Australia
- Commonwealth of Bahamas
- Peoples Republic of Bangladesh
- Republic of Benin
- Pluri’National State of Bolivia
- Republic of Botswana.
- Federal Republic of Brazil
- Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace
- Burkina Faso
- Republic of Burundi
- Kingdom of Cambodia
- Republic of Cameroon
- Republic of Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Republic of Chad
- Republic of Chile
- People’s Republic of China
- Republic of Colombia
- Union of Comoros
- Congo – Democratic Republic of
- Congo – Republic of
- New Zealand
- Republic of Costa Rica
- Republic of Cote d’ivoire
- Republic of Cuba
- Republic of Djibouti
- Commonwealth of Dominica
- Dominican Republic
- Republic of Ecuador
- Arab Republic of Egypt
- Republic of El Salvador
- Republic of Equatorial Guinea
- State of Eritrea
- Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
- Republic of Fiji
- Gabonese Republic
- Republic of The Gambia
- Republic of Ghana
- Republic of Grenada
- Republic of Guatemala
- Republic of Guinea
- Republic of Guinea-Bissau
- Republic of Guyana
- Republic of Haiti
- Republic of Honduras
- Republic of India
- Republic of Indonesia
- Republic of Kenya
- Republic of Kiribati
- Laos People’s Democratic Republic
- Republic of Liberia
- Republic of Madagascar
- Republic of Malawi
- Federation of Malaysia
- Republic of Maldives
- Republic of Mali
- Republic of Marshall Islands
- Islamic Republic of Mauritania
- Republic of Mauritius
- United Mexican State
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Republic of Mozambique
- Republic of Myanmar
- Republic of Namibia
- Republic of Nauru
- The Netherlands
- Republic of Nicaragua
- Republic of Niger
- Federal Republic of Nigeria
- Sultanate of Oman
- Republic of Palau
- Republic of Panama
- Independent State of Papua New Guinea
- Republic of Paraguay
- Republic of Peru
- Republic of Philippines
- Republic of Rwanda
- St. Lucia
- Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Independent State of Samoa
- Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Republic of Senegal
- Republic of Seychelles
- Republic of Sierra Leone
- Republic of Singapore
- Solomon Islands
- Federal Republic of Somalia
- Republic of South Africa
- Republic of South Sudan
- Democratic Socialist Republic of Srilanka
- Republic of Sudan
- Republic of Suriname
- United Republic of Tanzania
- Kingdom of Thailand
- Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
- Togolese Republic
- Kingdom of Tonga
- Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
- Republic of Uganda
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Republic of Vanuatu
- Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
- Socialist Republic of Vietnam
- Republic of Yemen
- Republic of Zambia
- Republic of Zimbabwe
South Asian Games :-
The 12th South Asian Games was held in Guwahati, Assam and Shillong, Meghalaya, India in 2016.
The Organising Committee – 12th South Asian Games (OC-SAG) has stated its vision to be the best South Asian Games to date with impeccable standards of service to be provided to athletes, officials and the general public. The Games shall setup new benchmarks for other Host Cities with regards to urban sustainable development by showcasing excellent infrastructure and facilities which could be used by the society and the general public for generations to come.
- Build state-of-the-art sporting and city infrastructure for the facilitation of the Games
- Create suitable environment and opportunities for the involvement of the citizens in the Games Showcase the culture and heritage of the North East & India
- Project India as a Global Sporting destination and Leave behind a lasting legacy
Winners and medals ,Only for reference purpose:-
31 species of birds spotted at Otteri Lake:-
A day-long census of birds that arrived at Otteri Lake in Vandalur(Tamilnadu) was carried out by the Forest Department recently.
The census is an annual feature and focuses on the arrival of new birds and the increase in their numbers compared to the previous years.
The lake has a water-spread area of 16 acres and is protected with a 635-metre-long bund. The water storage capacity of the lake is about 8.5 crore litres. Due to the rain in November and December last year, the lake was brimming with water and as many as 31 species of 7,256 birds were recorded by the surveyors.
The species spotted include Openbill stork, grey heron, white ibis, little egret, great egret, cattle egret, Indian cormorant, little cormorant, night heron, pond heron, darter, glossy ibis, common moorhen, white-breasted water hen, dabchick or little grebe, spoonbill, spotbill duck, and common coot.
Climate change may affect flight duration:-
By accelerating the jet stream — a high-altitude wind blowing from west to east across the Atlantic — climate change will speed up eastbound flights but slow down westbound flights, the researchers said.
The research could have implications for airlines, passengers, and airports.The aviation industry is facing pressure to reduce its environmental impacts, but this study shows a new way in which aviation is itself susceptible to the effects of climate change.
The bad news for passengers is that westbound flights will be battling against stronger headwinds. The good news is that eastbound flights will be boosted by stronger tailwinds, but not enough to compensate for the longer westbound journeys. The net result is that round-trip journeys will significantly lengthen. This effect will increase the fuel costs to airlines, potentially raising ticket prices, and it will worsen the environmental impacts of aviation
Jet-stream winds to become faster
The study looked at the effects of doubling the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, which will occur within the next few decades unless emissions are cut quickly.
The average jet-stream winds along the flight route between London’s Heathrow airport and New York’s John F Kennedy International airport are predicted to become 15 per cent faster in winter, increasing from 77 to 89 km/hr, with similar increases in the other seasons.
As a result, London-bound flights will become twice as likely to take under five hours and 20 minutes, implying that record-breaking crossing times will occur with increasing frequency in future.
On the other hand, New York-bound flights will become twice as likely to take over seven hours, suggesting that delayed arrivals will become increasingly common.
Due to the extra time spent in the air, transatlantic flights will burn an extra $22 million worth of fuel annually, and will emit an extra 70 million kg of CO2 — equivalent to the annual emissions of 7,100 British homes.
This might only be the tip of the iceberg, the researchers said.
“The jet stream encircles the globe, and there is one in the southern hemisphere too. It is possible that flights elsewhere in the world will also suffer from a similar jet stream effect,”.
What is the jet stream?
The jet stream consists of ribbons of very strong winds which move weather systems around the globe. Jet streams are found 9-16 km above the surface of the Earth, just below the tropopause, and can reach speeds of 200 mph.
How does the jet stream affect the weather?
The position of a jet stream varies within the natural fluctuations of the environment. They are caused by the temperature difference between tropical air masses and polar air masses. What happens in one part of the world depends on what is happening elsewhere – the atmosphere is a complete environment with numerous connections.
Antarctica influencing weather in tropics
Scientists are coming to grips with how weather in Antarctica is influencing climate as far away as the tropics. For example, researchers at Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center have discovered an influence of atmospheric circulation in the Wilkes Land and Ross Sea regions of Antarctica on precipitation from the East Asian monsoon.
In this context, the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) project gains importance as it studies the skies above Antarctica for answers to questions such as how climate change and associated atmospheric physics are affecting Antarctica and how the ripple effects of these phenomena are being felt thousands of miles away in the mid latitudes and the tropics.
The temperature gradient between the equator and the poles essentially drives the atmospheric circulation in the southern hemisphere in the form of three north-south systems: the polar cell, the mid-latitude Ferrel cell and the tropical Hadley cell. These cells are dynamically linked together.
In an early climate model experiment done with my colleagues, it is discovered that a change in Antarctic cloud properties that led to a warming of Antarctica weakened the Southern Hemisphere Ferrel cell, and allowed the Hadley Cell on the other side to strengthen, which in turn resulted in more rainfall due to increased latent heat release over Southern Hemisphere tropical regions.
An expanding Hadley cell is generally expected to result from a globally warming atmosphere, so the Antarctic warming from cloud property change is a positive feedback on a warming climate.
Antarctica acts as a global heat sink. Near the equator the Sun is highest in the sky and insolation (solar radiation reaching the surface) is larger than thermal radiation loss to space. At the South Pole during winter there is no insolation and the Antarctic continent loses energy to space. Energy and warmth transported over the Antarctic continent by global circulation patterns is lost to space by radiative cooling.
Another important feature being studied are the winds that traverse in the form of storm tracks across Antarctica’s atmosphere and their effect on Antarctica’s climate. However, one established trend due to global warming is the slight southward shift of the storms and the intrusion of warm air which led to the breaking away of a large ice-shelf. Also, the frequency of warm and moist air intrusions over West Antarctica generated by storms in the Ross and western Amundsen Seas, is a hypothesis under study by AWARE.
Another wind system is the circumpolar westerlies which prevents warm air from the northern latitudes of the southern ocean from reaching the interior of eastern Antarctica which remains a cold, isolated desolate region, losing energy to space.
Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission:-
In an ambitious bid to transform rural areas to economically, socially and physically sustainable spaces, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister approved the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) with an outlay of Rs. 5142.08 crores.
The Mission aims at development of rural growth clusters which have latent potential for growth, in all States and UTs, which would trigger overall development in the region. These clusters would be developed by provisioning of economic activities, developing skills & local entrepreneurship and providing infrastructure amenities. The Rurban Mission will thus develop a cluster of Smart Villages.
These clusters would be well delineated areas with planned layouts prepared following the planning norms (as laid down in the State Town and Country Planning Acts/similar Central or State statutes as may be applicable), which would be duly notified by the State/UTs. These plans would be finally integrated with the District Plans/Master Plans as the case may be.
The State Governments would identify the clusters in accordance with the Framework for Implementation prepared by the Ministry of Rural Development. The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas. There would be a separate approach for selection of clusters in Tribal and Non-Tribal Districts. As far as practicable, clusters of village would follow administrative convergence units of Gram Panchayats.
For the selection of clusters, the Ministry of Rural Development is adopting a scientific process of cluster selection which involves an objective analysis at the District, Sub District and Village level, of the demography, economy, tourism and pilgrimage significance and transportation corridor impact. While the Ministry, following this analysis, would provide a suggestive list of sub districts to the State, the State Governments would then select the clusters following a set of indicated principles included in the Framework for Implementation.
The mission aims to create 300 such Rurban growth clusters over the next 3 years, across the country. The funding for Rurban Clusters will be through various schemes of the Government converged into the cluster. The SPMRM will provide an additional funding support of upto 30 percent of the project cost per cluster as Critical Gap Funding (CGF) as Central Share to enable development of such Rurban clusters.
To ensure an optimum level of development, fourteen components have been suggested as desirable for the cluster, which would include; Skill development training linked to economic activities, Agro Processing/Agri Services/Storage and Warehousing, Digital Literacy, Sanitation, Provision of piped water supply, Solid and liquid waste management, Village streets and drains, Street lights, Fully equipped mobile health unit, Upgrading school /higher education facilities, Inter-village road connectivity, Citizen Service Centres- for electronic delivery of citizen centric services/e-gram connectivity, Public transport., LPG gas connections.
The States would prepare Integrated Cluster Action Plans for Rurban Clusters, which would be comprehensive plan documents detailing out the strategy for the cluster, desired outcomes for the cluster under the mission, along with the resources to be converged under various Central Sector, Centrally Sponsored and State Sector schemes, and the Critical Gap Funding (CGF) required for the cluster.
In addition to the Critical Gap Funding, proactive steps have been taken to ensure the success of the mission with adequate budget provisions for supporting the State Government towards project development, capacity building and other institutional arrangements at the state level.
The Mission envisages institutional arrangements both at the State and Center to ensure smooth implementation of the Mission. The Mission also has an Innovation budget towards facilitating research, development and capacity building.
The scheme through development of rurban growth clusters aimed at catalyzing overall regional growth, would thus simultaneously benefit the rural as well as urban areas of the country, by achieving twin objectives of strengthening rural areas and de burdening the urban areas hence leading to balanced regional development and growth of the country.
PETA moves HC against Kambala:-
A petition was filed by PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) which questioned the conditional permission granted for organising Kambala, a traditional slush track buffalo race practised in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka.
Agreement for Commercialisation of Ayurvedic Formulations:-
National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an Enterprise of the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology and M/s Dabur India Ltd. have entered into License Agreements for commercialization of two Ayurvedic formulations.
- Ayush-64, an ayurvedic formulation for treatment of Malaria. The Ayurvedic Drug Ayush-64 is very effective for the treatment of Malaria which is one of the most prevalent; destructive widely spread disease, well known to Ayurvedic Physicians as Visama Jvara from ancient times. In view of its wide prevalence and drug resistant malarial parasite, a poly-herbal non-toxic drug has been developed by CCRAS after carrying out extensive pharmacological, toxicological and Clinical studies.
- Ayush-82, an ayurvedic Formulation for management of Diabetes. Ayush-82; an anti diabetic drug also developed by CCRAS is a combination of known and tested hypoglycemic drugs.
The use of these two drugs would help millions of people suffering from Malaria and Diabetes. Both these medicines were developed by Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), New Delhi, an Autonomous body of the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).
Indo-Nepal Battalion level combined Exercise Surya Kiran IX:-
The Ninth Indo-Nepal Combined Battalion level Military Training Exercise SURYA KIRAN is being conducted at Pithoragarh in Uttarkhand under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade of Central Command.