Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Land For Life Award

    • Shyam Sundar Jyani, a Rajasthan-based climate activist, has won the prestigious United Nations’ Land for Life Award for his environment conservation concept, Familial Forestry.
      • Familial Forestry means transferring the care of the tree and environment in the family so that a tree becomes a part of the family’s consciousness.
    • This year’s theme is “Healthy Land, Healthy Lives”
    • The 2021 Award will put the spotlight on individuals/organizations that made an outstanding contribution to land degradation neutrality on a large scale, with long-term changes and dedicated actions for 25 years or longer and remarkable positive impacts on land, people, communities, and society. 
    • The Land for Life Award was launched at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) COP10 in the Republic of Korea (in 2011) as part of the Changwon Initiative.
    • Every two years, UNCCD organizes the Land for Life Award
    • The Award recognizes excellence and innovation in efforts towards land in balance. 
    • The past editions shed light on inspiring initiatives of recovery and restoration of degraded landscapes worldwide. 
      • They all made a significant contribution towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: “Life on Land”, in particular, Target 15.3 land degradation neutrality (LDN).

     Changwon Initiative 

    • It intends to complement activities being undertaken in line with The Strategy and in accordance with COP 10 decisions.
    • The main components of the Changwon Initiative include:
      • Enhancing the scientific process of the UNCCD,
      • Mobilizing additional resources and facilitating partnership arrangements.
      • Supporting a global framework for the promotion of best practices.

    Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS)

    • Recently, a 50 kWp Solar rooftop under the IPDS scheme of Government of India was inaugurated in Solan. 
    • The project further reinforces the ‘Go Green’ Initiative of the government envisaged in the Urban Distribution scheme of the Government of India.

    About IPDS 

    • The Ministry of Power, Government of India notified “Integrated Power Development Scheme” (IPDS) on 3rd December’14 with the following components:
      • Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas.
      • Metering of distribution transformers /feeders / consumers in the urban areas.
      • IT enablement of the distribution sector and strengthening of the distribution network under the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP).
      • Schemes for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and IT enablement of balanced urban towns are also included under IPDS. 
        • The scope of IT enablement has been extended to all 4041 towns as per Census 2011.
    • Power Finance Corporation(PFC) is the Nodal agency for implementation of the scheme.

    Eligible Utilities

    • All Discoms will be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.

    Funding Pattern

    • GoI Grant = 60% (85% for special category States).
    • Additional Grant = 15% (5% for special category States) – linked to achievement of milestones.

    Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP)

    • It was launched in July 2008 with focus on establishment of baseline data, fixation of accountability, reduction of AT&C losses upto 15% level through strengthening & up-gradation of Sub Transmission and Distribution network.

    SVAMITVA Scheme

    • A Memorandum of Understanding was inked between Survey of India, Government of India and Government of Assam For the implementation of the SVAMITVA scheme in Assam.

     SVAMITVA scheme 

    • It is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
    • It was launched on the National Panchayati Raj Day in 2020.
    • Aim: To provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners in rural areas and issuance of Property cards.
    • It has been approved for implementation at an outlay of Rs. 566.23 crore across the country in a phased manner over five years (2020-2025).
    • Its pilot phase was implemented during 2020-2021 in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and a few border villages of Punjab and Rajasthan.
    • The scheme will be carried out in close coordination with the Survey of India, Panchayati Raj departments and Revenue departments of various states.
    • Significance
      • It has the potential to transform rural India and will ensure streamlined planning, revenue collection and provide clarity over property rights in rural areas.
      • It will pave the way for using the property as a financial asset by villagers for taking loans and other financial benefits.
      • This is the first time that such a large-scale exercise involving most modern technology is being carried out to benefit millions of rural property owners.
        • Disputes related to the property would also be settled through the Property Cards/Title Deeds.
        • Property Cards are allotted through this Scheme for every property in the village and will be prepared by states using accurate measurements delivered by drone mapping.

    Inter-State Transmission System

    Recently, the Ministry of Power has issued an order for extension of the waiver of Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) charges on transmission of electricity generated from solar and wind sources.

    • The waiver would be available till 30th June 2025 and be available for Hydro Pumped Storage Plant (PSP) and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) projects also.
    • This will promote PSP and BESS projects for meeting the balancing requirement of the grid caused due to large scale integration of renewable energy (RE) in the Electricity Grid i.e. around 450 GW by 2030.
    • This is expected to encourage the RE trade in the power exchanges.
    • Any waiver of ISTS charges shall also be applicable to such parts of the intra-state transmission.
    • Inter State Transmission System
      • Any system for the conveyance of electricity by means of a main transmission line from the territory of one State to another State.
      • The conveyance of electricity across the territory of an intervening State as well as conveyance within the State which is incidental to such inter-state transmission of energy.
      • The transmission of electricity within the territory of State on a system built, owned, operated, maintained or controlled by Central Transmission Utility (CTU),
      • ISTS may be owned by CTU, State Utility, Independent Power Transmission Companies.
    • ISTS tariff is determined as per the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) (Terms and Conditions of Tariff), Regulations, 2009.
      • CERC is a statutory body functioning with quasi-judicial status under Section 76 of the Electricity Act 2003.
      • It is a key regulator of the power sector in India.

    World’s First GM Rubber Sapling 

    Recently, the world’s first Genetically Modified (GM) rubber sapling has been planted in Guwahati, Assam.

    • It has been tailored for the climatic conditions in the Northeast.
    • It has additional copies of the gene MnSOD, or manganese-containing superoxide dismutase.
    • It was developed at the Kerala-based Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII).
    • Natural rubber is a native of warm humid Amazon forests and is not naturally suited for the colder conditions in the Northeast, which is one of the largest producers of rubber in India.
    • Growth of young rubber plants remains suspended during the winter months, which are also characterised by progressive drying of the soil. This is the reason for the long immaturity period of this crop in the region.
    • The MnSOD gene has the ability to protect plants from the adverse effects of severe environmental stresses such as cold and drought. The plant is thus expected to establish well and grow fast in the region.
    • The planting had been done at an experimental level following all mandatory biosafety measures applicable to field trials involving GM crops.
    • There was no risk of genes flowing from the GM rubber into any other native species, a concern often raised by environmental groups against GM plants.

    Yellow Gold 48

    Recently, Bayer (German agrochemicals major) has launched the first-ever yellow watermelon variety Yellow Gold 48 under Seminis brand in India.

    • It has been developed from superior germplasm as part of Bayer’s global research and development efforts.
    • It is best suited for cultivation from October to February and for harvest from April onwards and will be available in the market until mid-July.
    • It has been commercially introduced in India following two years of local trials.
    • The company is also creating market linkages for growers by connecting them directly to large buyers and food retail stores.
    • Significance
      • It has high yield and income potential and will empower watermelon growers to diversify into new categories and meet the growing demand for exotic fruits.
      • Watermelon growers can benefit from enhanced yield potential, better disease and pest tolerance, and higher returns.

    (Image Courtesy: HBL)