10, August 2017

1.India ratifies second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol

Source: The Hindu

India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases, reaffirming its stand on climate action. With this, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international emissions reduction treaty.

Kyoto Protocol:

  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
  • The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005.
  • The first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was from 2008-2012. The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Qatar in December 2012. The amendment includes new commitments for parties to the Kyoto Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period from January 2013 to December 2020 and a revised list of greenhouse gases to be reported on by Parties in the second commitment period.
  • Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations.
  • Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

2.Approval of Industrial Parks in Andhra Pradesh

Source: The Hindu

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved two projects under ‘Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS)’ for development of industrial clusters at Hindupur and Bobbili in the respective districts of Ananatapur and Vizianagaram of Andhra Pradesh.

The objective of the approved projects is to provide quality and reliable infrastructure to industrial units located in these clusters; specifically these projects aim to provide road network, drainage, power and water supply networks and some other common services like health centres, canteens, crèches, dormitories, parking areas, etc.

MIIUS:

  • Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS) was launched in 2003 with the objective of enhancing industrial competitiveness of domestic industry by providing quality infrastructure through public private partnership in selected functional clusters/locations which have potential to become globally competitive. The Scheme was recast in February, 2009 on the basis of an independent evaluation to strengthen the implementation process.
  • A modified version of IIUS viz ‘Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS)’ was notified in July 2013. Under MIIUS, projects have been undertaken to upgrade infrastructure in existing Industrial Parks/ Estates/ Areas. Greenfield Projects have also been undertaken in backward areas and North Eastern Region (NER).

The Salient features of MIIUS

  • Central assistance upto 50% (for North Eastern Region upto 80%) of project cost with ceiling of Rs. 50 crore, limiting sanction upto two projects per State.
  • Project implementation by State Implementation Agency (SIA) such as, State Industrial Development Corporation with minimum mandatory contribution of 25% of the project cost (10% in case of North Eastern Region).
  • Projects are to be sanctioned to upgrade infrastructure in Industrial Estates/Parks/Areas. Greenfield projects could be supported in backward areas, including North Eastern Region (NER).
  • Release of GoI grant (in 3 Installments viz. 30%, 40% and 30%) subject to upfront other Stakeholders’ contribution.
  • Central grant for physical infrastructure is restricted to 25% of the grant subject to a ceiling of Rs.12.5 crore.

 

3.Putting the sun to work

Source: The Hindu

A consortium of 12 Indian and British universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, has received a £7 million grant from the U.K. government to build self-sufficient solar-powered buildings in remote Indian villages. The grant is part of a new solar project called ‘SUNRISE’.

Key facts:

  • The programme is aimed at developing printed photovoltaic cells and new manufacturing processes which can be used to make solar energy products in India. These will then be integrated into buildings in at least five villages of India, allowing them to harness solar power to provide their own energy and go off-grid.
  • One of the key aims of the SUNRISE project for India is to provide a real-life example which proves that this technology works and that it is appropriate within communities.
  • The plan is that it will encourage local industries to manufacture affordable prefabricated buildings, adapted for their environment, that can generate, store and release their own power.

The programme is part of a project led by the Swansea University, which has plenty of experience in the field. The project is in line with the Indian government’s plans to turn the country into a solar energy leader, leap-frogging fossil fuels.

4.ISRO to develop full-fledged Earth observation satellite

Source: The Hindu

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) says it plans to launch a full-fledged niche Earth observation (EO) satellite — called the Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite or HySIS — using a critical chip it has developed. With this satellite, it can see in 55 spectral or colour bands from 630 km above ground.

Hyspex imaging

  • Hyspex’ imaging is said to enable distinct identification of objects, materials or processes on Earth by reading the spectrum for each pixel of a scene from space. ISRO first tried it out in an 83-kg IMS-1 experimental satellite in May 2008. The same year, a hyperspectral camera was put on Chandrayaan-1 and used to map lunar mineral resources. Very few space agencies have such a satellite; a German environmental satellite called EnMAP is due to be launched on an Indian booster in 2018.
  • Hyperspectral or hyspex imaging is said to be an EO trend that is being experimented globally. Adding a new dimension to plain-vanilla optical imagers, it can be used for a range of activities from monitoring the environment, crops, looking for oil and minerals all the way up to military surveillance — all of which need images that show a high level of differentiation of the object or scene.



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