Insights Daily Current Affairs, 07 February 2017
Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
The Asia LPG Summit
The WLPGA Asia LPG Summit was recently inaugurated in Delhi. In this event, India will showcase its various initiatives such as the Ujjwala, Direct Benefit Transfer and ‘Give-it-up’ schemes aimed at increasing access of its population to LPG.
- The Asia Summit will be accompanied by the India LPG Summit ‘Emerging Trends’.
About Asia LPG Summit:
The WLPGA (World LPG Association) is organizing its major global event ‘the WLPGA Asia LPG Summit’ for the first time in India in partnership with the major Oil PSUs Indian Oil, HPCL, and BPCL.
- More than 600 delegates from over 35 countries are attending the prestigious event where the deliberations will focus on the need for replacing the use of traditional fuels such as firewood and charcoal with LPG among populations of the developing world as part of global efforts to increase access to clean energy.
- This will be an opportunity for the global LPG industry, along with development agencies, NGOs, academia and private sector to hear about the remarkable transformation taking place in the Indian LPG sector with initiatives such as the ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’, ‘Pahal’- Direct Benefit Transfer and ‘Give-it-up’ turning out to be hugely successful.
- The discussions will focus on finding new ways to improve access and delivery of LPG to the last household by involving the LPG sector, independent organizations working in the field and government agencies from across the world.
India is today the world’s second biggest consumer of LPG in the domestic sector with annual consumption exceeding 18 million tonnes and about a 10% annual growth. In the last two years, India embarked on an unprecedented expansion of its LPG reach through some hugely successful programmes that have ensured LPG access to over 800 million plus people. The key objectives of these programmes are to provide LPG connections to BPL households.
About World LPG Association:
The World LPG Association (WLPGA) is the authoritative global voice for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry and the worldwide industry association which represents the interests of the LPG industry globally. The WLPGA promotes the use of LPG to foster a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous world.
- With over 200 members headquartered in more than 125 countries, the WLPGA represents the interests of private and public companies from the entire LPG value chain under one umbrella.
- The WLPGA provides a platform for the exchange of best practices, facts and figures among its members.
- The Association regularly organises interactive meetings between technical experts, members and key stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits of LPG.
- The WLPGA was officially granted Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1989. Publications such as its Annual Statistical Review have become LPG industry references.
Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
New technology to make data transfer 10 times faster than 5G
Scientists have developed a next generation system which can transmit digital data over 10 times faster than 5G mobile networks, an advance that will pave the way for faster downloads and improve in-flight network connection speeds.
About the new technology:
Researchers have announced the development of a terahertz (THz) transmitter capable of transmitting digital data at a rate exceeding 100 gigabits per second over a single channel using the 300-gigahertz band.
- The THz band is a new and vast frequency resource expected to be used for future ultrahigh-speed wireless communications. The research group has developed a transmitter that achieves a communication speed of 105 gigabits per second using the frequency range from 290 GHz to 315 GHz.
- This range of frequencies are currently unallocated but fall within the frequency range from 275 GHz to 450 GHz.
Significance of this new discovery:
- Terahertz could offer ultrahigh-speed links to satellites, which can only be wireless. That could, in turn, significantly boost in-flight network connection speeds.
- Other possible applications include fast download from contents servers to mobile devices and ultrafast wireless links between base stations.
- Another, completely new possibility offered by terahertz wireless is high-data-rate minimum-latency communications.
Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
India not fulfilling responsibilities under Indus treaty: Pakistan
Voicing concerns over India’s construction of new dams, Pakistan has accused India of not fulfilling its responsibilities under the Indus Waters Treaty.
Recently, Pakistan had taken up the issue of the construction of dams with World Bank. It had urged the World Bank to play a “lead role” in resolving the water disputes between Pakistan and India by establishing a Court of Arbitration.
The World Bank had brokered the famous Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) in 1960, apportioning the several rivers and utilisation of their waters between Pakistan and India. It is also the guarantor of the IWT and adjudicates any dispute between the two countries.
About the treaty:
Signed in 1960 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Pakistan President Ayub Khan, the treaty allocates 80% of water from the six-river Indus water system to Pakistan.
- Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum from the Indus water system that flows from India to Pakistan. The Indus river basin spans parts of 4 countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and China) in an area that is more than 30% arid.
- Under the treaty, control over six north Indian rivers were divided between the two countries. India got control over the rivers Beas, Ravi and Sutlej whereas Pakistan got control over Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
- This is a unique treaty involving a third party. It was brokered by the World Bank.
- A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing.
- The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.
Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Committee of Secretaries to take up fleet policy for nod this week
The Committee of Secretaries (CoS) will take up for approval the fleet modernisation policy that proposes to remove old and polluting trucks and other commercial vehicles bought before April 2005 from the roads.
The fleet modernisation proposal mooted by the roads transport and highways ministry has been awaiting clearance for almost a year now.
- Under the proposed policy, commercial vehicles bought before April 2005 will be eligible for incentives if replaced by new ones. According to government estimates, the programme may help replace several million vehicles with less polluting ones, thereby reducing vehicular emission.
- The policy proposes three incentives for the vehicles scrapped — half the regular excise duty at the time of purchase of new vehicle, fair value for the scrap and discounts from automobile manufacturers. These incentives are likely to cut the cost of a new vehicle for the buyer by 15% on an average.
- The policy recommends complete excise exemption for state transport buses to encourage public transport to shift to newer and higher capacity buses which will also help de-congest roads.
- Under the plan, those opting to scrap old commercial vehicles will have to deposit documents relating to the vehicle at the recycling centre. After verification, the owner will get a certificate and the price for the scrap. He has to provide certificate to the dealer while buying the new vehicle to avail of the discount.
- According to the ministry, the policy has the potential to reduce vehicular emission by 25% and save oil consumption by 3.2 billion litres a year. The reduction in oil consumption by new vehicles will help save nearly Rs 7,000 crore in oil import.
Facts for Prelims
- BioAsia, the annual flagship event of the Telangana government, has begun in Hyderabad. BioAsia is the 14th edition of this event.
- The event agenda will touch upon many areas ranging from innovation and R&D, manufacturing, digital healthcare, diagnostics and hospital infections to anti-microbial resistance.
- Around 1,500 delegates from over 50 countries are taking part in this event.
- BioAsia seeks to enhance, enrich and encourage newer innovations, path-breaking discoveries and effective solutions in the industry by offering a vibrant global platform for convergence of the key stakeholders – Biotech & Biopharma Companies, research institutions, investors, service providers, policy makers, regulators and analysts.
- Organized by the Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Telangana, this event has emerged as a preeminent technology and bio-business convention in Asia for Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.