Factly articles for 9th July 2020

11 min read

1.Unite human, animal and environmental health to prevent the next pandemic – UN Report

News: United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute(ILRI) has released a report titled “Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission”.

Facts:

  • Aim: The report focuses on the context and nature of potential future zoonotic disease outbreaks during the Covid-19 pandemic by identifying the anthropogenic (changes in environment due to human activity) factors.
  • Anthropogenic Factors: a) Increased Use of Wildlife b) Changes in Food Supply Chains c) Increased Demand for Animal Protein d) Intense and Unsustainable Farming and e) Use of Antimicrobials in farm settings contributing to the burden of antimicrobial resistance(AMR).

Additional Facts:

  • Zoonoses or Zoonotic Disease: It is a disease that passes into the human population from an animal source directly or through an intermediary species.
    • Zoonotic infections can be bacterial, viral or parasitic in nature, with animals playing a vital role in maintaining such infections.
    • Examples of zoonoses include HIV-AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, and the current Covid-19 disease.
  • UNEP: It was founded by the UN General Assembly as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference) in 1972.
    • Reports: Emission Gap Report, Global Environment Outlook among others.
    • Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
  • International Livestock Research Institute(ILRI): It is an international agricultural research institute formed in 1994 through the merger of the International Livestock Centre for Africa and the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases.Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.

2.Cabinet approves development of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes for migrants

News: The Union cabinet has approved a scheme to provide affordable rental housing complexes(ARHCs) to urban migrants and poor as a sub-scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(PMAY)(Urban).

Facts:

  • The scheme had been announced under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs.
  • Approach: The scheme will have a two-pronged approach:
    • The existing vacant government funded housing complexes will be converted into ARHCs through a concession agreement for 25 years.
    • Special incentives like use permission, 50% additional Floor Area Ratio, concessional loan at priority sector lending rates, tax reliefs at par with affordable housing will be offered to private and public entities to develop ARHCs on their own available vacant land for 25 years.
  • Beneficiaries: A large part of the workforce in manufacturing industries, service providers in hospitality, health and construction or other sectors, labourers, students who come from rural areas or small towns seeking better opportunities will be the target beneficiary under ARHCs.

Additional Facts:

  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban): The scheme was launched in 2015 to provide Central assistance to implementing agencies through States/Union Territories (UTs) for providing houses to all eligible families/beneficiaries by 2022.

3.Cabinet approves setting up ₹1 lakh-cr agri infra fund

News: Government of India has approved setting up of an agriculture infrastructure fund with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore.

Facts:

  • Type: Central Sector Scheme.
  • Aim: To provide a medium-long term debt financing for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.
  • Duration: The duration of the Scheme shall be from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years).
  • Coverage: The fund will provide loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies(PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations(FPOs), Self Help Group(SHG), farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG) among others.
  • Interest subvention: All loans will have interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of ₹2 crore.This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.
  • Credit Guarantee: Credit guarantee coverage will also be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises(CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to ₹2 crore.
  • Monitoring: The National, State and District level Monitoring Committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.

4.Golden Birdwing: India’s Largest Butterfly

Facts: Himalayan butterfly known as Golden Birdwing has been discovered as India’s largest butterfly.It is found in northern India, Nepal, Burma, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia.

5.Union Environment Minister attends virtual Climate Action Ministerial

News: The 4th edition of the virtual Ministerial on Climate Action was organised to advance discussions on implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Facts:

  • The virtual meeting was co-chaired by European Union, China and Canada.
  • Key Discussions: India highlighted that developed country parties have not fulfilled their promise for extending financial and technological support to developing countries as envisaged under UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement.
    • The developed countries had made the commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020 and agreed to continue mobilizing finance at the level of $100 billion a year until 2025.

Additional Facts:

  • Paris Agreement: It was adopted at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) 21 in 2015 to address climate change and its negative impacts.
  • Goals:
    • Temperature: hold warming below 2°C above pre-industrial levels with effective efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C
    • Adaptation: Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development
    • Low Emission Finance flows: Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
  • Intended Nationally Determined Targets(INDC): The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through INDC’s and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
  • India’s intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under Paris Agreement:
    • reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33% to 35% by 2030 from 2005 level,
    • increase total cumulative electricity generation from fossil free energy sources to 40% by 2030,
    • Create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons through additional forest and tree cover.

6.Ujjwala beneficiaries can get free domestic cooking gas cylinder till September

News: The Union cabinet has approved an extension till end September for availing free cooking gas cylinders under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana(PMUY).

Facts:

  • Launched Year: 2016
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • Aim: To replace the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG(Liquefied Petroleum Gas).
  • Objectives:
    • Empower women and protect their health
    • Reduce the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel
    • Reduce the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel and
    • Prevent young children from a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution.
  • Features: Under the scheme, an adult woman member of a below poverty line family identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is given a deposit-free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre.
  • Target: Initially the target was installation of 5 crore LPG connections by 2019.But the target was revised to 8 crore which has been achieved in September,2019.

Additional Facts:

  • LPG Panchayats: It serves as a platform for interaction between those who received LPG cylinders under PMUY by raising awareness among LPG users about proper use of clean fuel and its advantages.