General Knowledge Current Affairs

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

COP 27: Indian Lead in Global Climate Change Management

As we approach COP 27, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is essential to take stock of the global efforts to tackle climate change. The world is at a critical juncture, with the consequences of global warming already visible in the form of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and the loss of biodiversity. The need for urgent action is clear, and India is poised to take a leadership role in global climate change management.

India is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the United States. However, it is also one of the fastest-growing economies, with ambitious plans to transition to a low-carbon future. India has set a target to achieve 450 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030, and it is well on its way to achieving that goal. The country has also launched several initiatives to promote sustainable development, such as the Smart Cities Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

India has been a vocal advocate for climate action on the global stage, and it has played a key role in shaping the Paris Agreement. The country has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to achieving 40% of its electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. India has also pledged to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

India's leadership in climate change management extends beyond its domestic efforts. The country has been at the forefront of efforts to promote international cooperation on climate action, particularly through the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The ISA is a coalition of more than 120 countries, initiated by India and France, which aims to promote the deployment of solar energy on a global scale. The ISA has already launched several initiatives, such as the Affordable Solar Power for Agriculture (ASPA) program and the One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative.

India's leadership in climate change management is particularly crucial in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted the interconnectedness of global challenges, such as public health and climate change. As countries around the world focus on recovery and rebuilding, there is an opportunity to promote a green recovery and to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. India's leadership in this regard is essential, both in terms of its domestic efforts and its role in promoting international cooperation.

As we approach COP 27, it is essential for all countries to step up their efforts to tackle climate change. The stakes are high, and the consequences of inaction are dire. India's leadership in global climate change management is an inspiration to the world, and it is essential that the country continues to play a leading role in shaping the global response to this critical challenge.

BRICS Journey: An Analysis of Achievements and Failures

As we look at the journey of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), it is important to analyze their achievements and failures. The BRICS countries represent a significant portion of the world's population and economy, and their decisions can have a global impact. In this article, we will examine the journey of the BRICS countries, their achievements, and their failures.

The Journey of the BRICS Countries

The BRICS countries were first identified by Jim O'Neill, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, in 2001. He identified them as emerging economies that had the potential to become dominant global players. The countries had several similarities, such as large populations, significant natural resources, and high economic growth rates. The BRICS countries were brought together in 2006, and their first summit was held in 2009. Since then, the BRICS countries have been meeting annually to discuss issues such as economic cooperation, political coordination, and cultural exchange.

Achievements of the BRICS Countries

The BRICS countries have made significant achievements in several areas. One of the most significant achievements is economic growth. The BRICS countries have shown remarkable economic growth over the past two decades. For example, China's economy has grown from $1.2 trillion in 2000 to $14.1 trillion in 2020. India's economy has grown from $477 billion in 2000 to $2.9 trillion in 2020. Brazil's economy has grown from $559 billion in 2000 to $2.4 trillion in 2020.

The BRICS countries have also made significant progress in poverty reduction. According to the World Bank, the BRICS countries have lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty since 2000. China alone has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty, which is a remarkable achievement.

Another significant achievement of the BRICS countries is infrastructure development. The BRICS countries have invested heavily in infrastructure development over the past two decades. For example, China has built the world's largest high-speed rail network, which has improved connectivity and reduced travel times. India has also made significant progress in infrastructure development, with the construction of new highways and airports.

Failures of the BRICS Countries

Despite their achievements, the BRICS countries have also faced several challenges and failures. One of the most significant challenges is income inequality. Despite the significant progress in poverty reduction, income inequality remains a significant issue in the BRICS countries. According to the World Bank, the Gini coefficient (a measure of income inequality) in the BRICS countries ranges from 0.42 (South Africa) to 0.63 (Brazil). This is significantly higher than the Gini coefficient in developed countries such as the US and the UK.

Another significant challenge faced by the BRICS countries is corruption. Corruption remains a significant issue in the BRICS countries, and it has a negative impact on economic growth and development. According to Transparency International, the BRICS countries are among the most corrupt countries in the world. Brazil, Russia, and India are ranked 105th, 135th, and 86th, respectively, out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index. China and South Africa are ranked slightly higher, at 78th and 69th, respectively.


In conclusion, the journey of the BRICS countries has been a mix of achievements and failures. The BRICS countries have made significant progress in several areas, such as economic growth, poverty reduction, and infrastructure development. However, they have also faced several challenges, such as income inequality and corruption. It is important for the BRICS countries to continue to work together.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Plastic Waste Management (PWM)

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) 2.0 under The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) lays special emphasis on reduction of plastic waste generation and compliance of Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules dated 12.08.2021. Key focus areas include source segregation of waste; segregated collection and transportation; the processing of segregated waste; setting up of Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in all ULBs; continuous awareness generation for reducing Single Use Plastic (SUP) and use of substitute products. In addition, the following initiatives have been taken:

  • Additional Central Assistance (ACA) to States and Union Territories (UTs) is released for establishing Solid Waste Management (SWM) projects for processing of all kinds of waste,
  • A ‘Plastic Waste Management Advisory’ has been developed capturing the plastic waste generation, plastic waste management rules and various ways to manage plastic waste through reduce, reuse, recycle and recovery techniques;
  • ‘Swachh Survekshan’ and ‘Star Rating Protocol’ have been introduced which have been aligned with Plastic Waste Management (amendment) Rules 2021 to encourage cities to phase out single-use plastic, etc.

In addition, all States/UTs have constituted the Special Task Force (STF) under the chairpersonship of the Chief Secretary / Administrator for elimination of identified single use plastic items and effective plastic waste management and development of comprehensive action plan in this regard. A National Level Taskforce has also been constituted by the Ministry for taking coordinated efforts to eliminate identified single use plastic items and effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

For effective monitoring of ban on identified single use plastic (SUP) items and plastic waste management in the country, online platforms that are in operation are National Dashboard on elimination of single use plastics and effective plastic waste management; Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Monitoring Module for Compliance on Elimination of Single Use Plastic and CPCB Grievance Redressal App.

Regular enforcement drives have been undertaken by CPCB, State Pollution Control Board (SPCBs)/ Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) to implement ban on identified single use plastic items and on plastic carry bags having thickness less than one hundred twenty microns.

Further, to develop alternatives to single use plastics, the MoEF & CC organized "India Plastic Challenge - Hackathon 2021". Two Start-ups in the area of alternatives to single use plastics were awarded in the India Plastic Challenge Hackathon 2021. A National Expo on Eco-Alternatives to single use plastic and Startup Conference was organized on 26th and 27th September, 2022 in Chennai by MoEF & CC and Government of Tamil Nadu in which more than 150 manufacturers of eco-alternatives from across the country have participated. The eco-alternatives included material made from sea-weed, bagasse, rice and wheat bran, rice stubble, plant and agricultural residue, banana and areca leaves, jute and cloth. The list of manufacturers of eco-alternatives is available on National Dashboard on elimination of single use plastics and effective plastic waste management.