Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-22] Current Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

National Housing Bank; Cochin Forest Cane Turtle; Mission Innovation; Viability Gap Funding; Global Biodiversity Outlook; Exchange-traded fund; Victoria Falls; Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar river link project; National Carbonaceous Aerosols Programme Project (NCAP) on Carbonaceous aerosol emissions, source apportionment and climate impacts (NCAP-COALESCE project)? Adaptation Fund (AF)
By IASToppers
March 28, 2020

 

 

Adaptation Fund (AF) was set up under a) Montero Protocol OR b) Kyoto Protocol OR c) Hyogo Framework for Action?

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Solution:

Adaptation Fund (AF) was set up under Kyoto Protocol.

Enrich Your Learning:

Adaptation Fund (AF):

  • The Adaptation Fund was set up in 2001 under the Kyoto Protocolto finance projects and programmes in developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change.
  • The finance was raised, in part, by levying a 2 % “share of proceeds”on the value of credits traded on the international carbon market under the Protocol known as the ‘Clean Development Mechanism’. It also relies on contributions from developed countries.

What is the issue?

  • 70 % of Adaptation Fund Board is represented by members from developing countries. This has become the core of a disagreement over the future of the Fund, which was discussed at the Conference of Parties 25 (CoP25).
  • The technical issue is whether the Adaptation Fund automatically becomes a body under the Paris Agreement, or whether there needs to be a decision of the CoP formalizing the transition.
  • The technical issue has become a mere reason for the disagreement, with several developed countries refusing to sign off on the transition unless the governance structure of the Adaptation Fund is changed to ensure more developed country participation.
  • Due to this conflict, despite the Paris Decision calling for a balance in finance between mitigation and adaptation, only one-fifth of finance provided by the OECD went to adaptation in 2017. 

 

 

What do you know about NCAP-COALESCE project?

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Solution & Enrich Your Learning:

What is National Carbonaceous Aerosols Programme Project (NCAP) on Carbonaceous aerosol emissions, source apportionment and climate impacts (NCAP-COALESCE project)?

  • The NCAP-COALESCE project was launched as part of India’s National Climate Action Programme. Under the leadership of IIT Bombay’s Interdisciplinary Programme in Climate Studies, this multi-institutional, coordinated project, would enable teamwork in cutting-edge fundamental research to understand the sources, fate and impacts of carbonaceous aerosols, on climate change in the Indian region. 

What are the objectives of NCAP-COALESCE?

  • The broad objectives of this initiative are extensive understanding of carbonaceous aerosol emissions from regional sources including emission inventory, source apportionment, and their seasonal and long-term atmospheric abundance.

How will the project benefit?

  • The project would be a key step to build a strong knowledge base for India related to short-lived climate pollutants, including carbonaceous aerosols.
  • Research activities in the NCAP-COALESCE project should lead to significant advances in our understanding of key areas within the carbonaceous aerosol influence on climate change. 
  • The project would also contribute towards building scientific capacity, through training of M.Sc., M.Tech. and PhD students as well as the creation of infrastructure and systems at the participating institutions.
  • Would strengthen scientific networks and provide key new knowledge to underpin government decision making in regard to climate change.
  • Over a period of time, the NCAP-COALESCE project would emerge as important knowledge and information resource to support national and state actions responding to climate change caused by carbonaceous aerosols.

 

 

Why Kerala government is preventing the construction of Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar river link project?

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Solution:

The Kerala government is preventing the implementation of the Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar river link project as it will lead to diversion of water from Kerala to Tamil Nadu.

Enrich Your Learning:

Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar river link project

  • The river link proposal is listed among the river linking projects of the National Water Development Agency (NWDA).
  • It envisages diversion of 634 Mm3 of water from the Pamba and Achankovil rivers in Kerala to the Vaippar basin in Tamil Nadu.
  • The project envisages irrigation of 91,400 hectares in Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, generation of 500 MW and regulated release of water during lean periods to Kerala.

River Pamba

  • The Pamba is the third longest river in Kerala.
  • It rises at an altitude of 1650 m in the Peermade Plateau in the Idukki district of Kerala and after traversing a distance of 176 km joins the Arabian Sea branching into a number of channels.
  • The entire catchment area lies in Kerala state.

River Achankocil

  • The river Achankovil rises south of Devarmalai in the Western Ghats in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala at an elevation of 700 m.
  • Like many parts of India, the Pamba and Achankovil basins receive major portion of rainfall during south-west monsoon period

 

 

Victoria Falls is a waterfall in southern Africa at the border between which two countries?  

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Solution:

Victoria Falls is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Enrich Your Learning:

Why in news?

  • There is one of the worst droughts of the century has reduced its flow to a trickle triggering fears that climate change might destroy it.

Victoria Falls:

  • Victoria Falls is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world with a length of more than a kilometre and a height of more than hundred meters.
  • It is also considered to be the largest fall in the world.
  • The noise of Victoria Falls can be heard from a distance of 40 kilometers, while the spray and mist from the falling water is rising to a height of over 400 meters and can be seen from a distance of 50 kilometers.
  • The local tribes used to call the waterfall Mosi-o-Tunya “The smoke that thunders”.
  • Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Key facts:

  • According to the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the southern African region is particularly vulnerable to climate change.
  • Being one of the biggest tourist attractions in southern Africa, tourism at Victoria Falls brings in some amount of revenue for both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 

 

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are mutual funds but are not listed and traded on stock exchanges like shares. True OR False.

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Solution:

False

Correct Statement:

  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are mutual funds and are listed and traded on stock exchanges like shares.

Enrich Your Learning:

What is Exchange-traded fund (ETF)?

  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are mutual funds listed and traded on stock exchanges like shares.
  • Usually, ETFs are passive funds where the fund manager doesn’t select stocks on behalf of buyer. Instead, the ETF copies an index and endeavours to accurately reflect its performance.
  • In an ETF, one can buy and sell units at prevailing market price on a real time basis during market hours.

Advantages of ETFs:

  • ETFs are cost efficient. Given that they don’t make any stock (or security choices), they don’t use services of fund managers.
  • They allow investors to avoid the risk of poor security selection by the fund manager, while offering a diversified investment portfolio.
  • The stocks in the indices are carefully selected by index providers and are rebalanced periodically.
  • They offer anytime liquidity through the exchanges.

 

 

Global Biodiversity Outlook is published by?

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Solution:

  • It is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Enrich Your Learning:

Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO)

  • The Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of global biodiversity.
  • It is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The report summarizes the progress made towards achieving the objectives of the Convention, such as the Aichi Targets and identifies key actions to achieve these.
  • Till December 2019, the latest report is the Global Biodiversity Outlook-4 report has been published.

What is the Convention of Biological Diversity?

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international legally-binding treaty with three main goals: conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of biodiversity; fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Convention on Biological Diversity covers biodiversity at all levels: ecosystems, species and genetic resources.
  • The CBD’s governing body is the Conference of the Parties (COP). This ultimate authority of all governments (or Parties) that have ratified the treaty meets every two years to review progress, set priorities and commit to work plans.
  • The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is based in Montreal, Canada.
  • The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. CBD has two supplementary agreements – Cartagena Protocol and Nagoya Protocol.

What are the Aichi Targets?

Aichi Targets are a set of 20 global targets under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. The objective of Aichi Target is to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, reduce the pressures on biodiversity, safeguard biodiversity at all levels, enhance the benefits provided by biodiversity, and provide for capacity-building. They are grouped under five strategic goals.

  1. Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.
  2. Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.
  3. Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.
  4. Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.

 

 

What is the criteria for the amount given under Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme of Indian government? 

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Solution:

It is equivalent to the lowest bid for capital subsidy, but subject to a maximum of 20% of the total project.

Enrich Your Learning:

Viability Gap Funding

  • Viability Gap Funding (VGF)means a grant one-time or deferred, provided to support infrastructure projects that are economically justified but fall short of financial viability.
  • The VGF scheme was launched in 2004 to support projects that come under Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
  • The lack of financial viability usually arises from long gestation periods and the inability to increase user charges to commercial levels. Infrastructure projects also involve externalities that are not adequately captured in direct financial returns to the project sponsor. Through the provision of a catalytic grant assistance of the capital costs, several projects may become bankable and help mobilise private investment in infrastructure.

Viability gap funding by Indian Government

  • Government of India has notified a scheme for Viability Gap Funding to infrastructure projects that are to be undertaken through Public Private Partnerships.
  • It will be a Plan Scheme to be administered by the Ministry of Finance with suitable budgetary provisions to be made in the Annual Plans on a year-to- year basis.
  • The quantum of VGF provided under this scheme is in the form of a capital grant at the stage of project construction.
  • The amount of VGF will be equivalent to the lowest bid for capital subsidy, but subject to a maximum of 20% of the total project cost.
  • In case the sponsoring Ministry/State Government/ statutory entity propose to provide any assistance over and above the said VGF, it will be restricted to a further 20% of the total project cost.
  • Support under this scheme is available only for infrastructure projects where private sector sponsors are selected through a process of competitive bidding.
  • The lead financial institution for the project is responsible for regular monitoring and periodic evaluation of project compliance with agreed milestones and performance levels, particularly for the purpose of grant disbursement.
  • VGF is disbursed only after the private sector company has subscribed and expended the equity contribution required for the project.

 

 

What are the 8 innovation challenges under Mission Innovation?

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Solution:

8 Innovation challenge

  • Smart Grids
  • Off-grid Access to Electricity
  • Carbon Capture
  • Sustainable biofuels
  • Converting sunlight
  • Clean energy Materials
  • Affordable heating and cooling of buildings
  • Renewable and Clean Hydrogen

Enrich Your Learning:

Mission Innovation (MI)

  • It is global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of EU) which will work to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable.
  • It was launched by 20 countries during COP 21 in November, 2015. 

Goal

  • To accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation to achieve performance breakthroughs and cost reductions to provide widely affordable and reliable clean energy solutions.

8 Innovation challenge

  • Smart Grids
  • Off-grid Access to Electricity
  • Carbon Capture
  • Sustainable biofuels
  • Converting sunlight
  • Clean energy Materials
  • Affordable heating and cooling of buildings
  • Renewable and Clean Hydrogen

The members are committed to:

  • Seek to double their governmental or state directed clean energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) investments over 5 years.
  • Work closely with the private sector.
  • Build and improve technology innovation roadmaps.
  • Provide, on an annual basis, transparent, easily-accessible information on their respective clean energy RD&D efforts.

 

 

Cochin Forest Cane Turtle is also known as Kavalai forest turtle. True OR False.

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Solution:

True

Enrich Your Learning:

Cochin Forest Cane Turtle

  • The Cochin Forest Cane Turtle is sighted in Tamil Nadu in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve.
  • It is an extremely rare species which is endemic to Western Ghats of India.
  • It is also known as Kavalai forest turtle.
  • The species inhabits short burrows underground and is indifferent about having water nearby.
  • The Cochin forest cane turtle is listed as Endangered by the IUCN and listed in CITS Appendix II.
  • It inhabits dense forests, at an elevation of about 1500 feet (lower elevation) above sea level.
  • It is recognised as a monotypic genus, named Vijayachelys in honor of the famous Indian herpetologist Jagannathan Vijaya.
  • Jagannathan Vijaya rediscovered this species in 1982.

India’s turtle

  • India harbours 28 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises, with Northeast and North India considered as Turtle Biodiversity Hotspots.
  • Over 17 species are Globally Threatened in the IUCN Red list and populations are under severe pressures of extinction due to a large number of human-made factors.

 

 

Which committee recommended the setting up of National Housing Bank in India?

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Solution:

  • The committee headed by C. Rangarajan, the then deputy governor of RBI recommended the setting up of National Housing Bank.

Enrich Your Learning:

National Housing Bank (NHB)

  • It is an All India Financial Institution (AIFl), set up in 1988, under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987.
  • The committee headed by C. Rangarajan, the then deputy governor of RBI recommended the setting up of National Housing Bank. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, while presenting the Union Budget for 1987-88, announced the decision to establish the NHB.
  • It is an apex agency established to promote housing finance institutions both at local and regional levels.
  • Also to provide financial and other support incidental to such institutions and for matters connected therewith.
  • The Head Office of NHB is at New Delhi.

Ownership of NHB

  • Up till now, the authorized capital of NHB stands at Rs. 2,000 crore of which Rs. 1,450 crore had been subscribed by RBl.
  • But, now, the face value of the subscribed share capital of Rs.1450 crore in National Housing Bank(NHB) to RBI, the subscribed capital of NHB shall stand transferred to and vested in the Central Government (with effect from 28 Feb, 2019).

Significance of transfer of ownership to government

  • The role of NHB will get strengthened with the transfer of ownership to Government, thereby making possible augmented funding support to housing finance companies.
  • The change in ownership from RBI to Gol will also segregate RBI’s role as banking regulator and as owner of NHB.
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Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020
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