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What is Rio Summit/ Earth Summit ?

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It was a United nations summit, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1992. It led to creation of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

What is the UNFCCC?

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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Created because of the Rio Summit/ Earth Summit of 1992. It is an international treaty for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nearly every country on Earth is a party to the UNFCCC.

What is Conference of the Parties (COP)? The nations, who’ve signed UNFCCC convention, meet every year to discuss climate change strategy. These meetings are called Conference of the Parties (COP) The first COP (COP 1) was held in Berlin. Third COP (COP 3) held in Kyoto, Japan. It was here the famous Kyoto Protocol came in to existence. 2011: COP held in Durban, S.Africa. 2012: COP will be held in Doha, Qatar in November 2012 (so it becomes important topic for next prelims!)

What is Kyoto Protocol?

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1997: third meeting of UNFCC nation (also known as Conference of Parties/COP3), In this meeting Kyoto Protocol was created. Kyoto protocol wants the Industrialised nations to reduce their green house gas emission by around 5.2% by 2012. (measured against 1990 levels) Before dwelling much into Kyoto, some important terms.

What is “common but differentiated responsibilities”? The developed countries such as US,UK have already polluted the atmosphere with greenhouse gases (GHGs) through industrialization. So they’re the one who created/started global warming and all the mess. While Developing countries (India and Brazil) have started polluting the world only recently. Therefore, the developing countries such as India, Brazil should share less of the burden of lowering overall emissions. And Developed countries (US,UK) should bear more responsibility in fixing this global warming mess etc. because they’re the one more responsible for it. So, while it is the “Common” responsibility of every nation of this world, to reduce

Green house gas emission, but there should be some difference between the responsibility given to developed countries and developing countries.

Kyoto Protocol follows that principle and assigns separate responsibilities to the countries.

Annex Annex means some elaboration/detail given at the end of a book/treaty. Annex What?

Annex I

List of industrialized countries and economies in transition: US, France, Japan etc. These countries had pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. A sub-group of Annex 1 Countries, these Annex II countries are required to give financial assistance and technology to the developing countries (non-Annex countries).

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Annex II

Non Annex

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Developing countries like India, Brazil, China.

They donot have compulsory binding targets to reduce green house gas emission, although they are encouraged to do it.

It gives the list of 6 Green House gases that are responsible for the whole problem

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Annex B

Carbon dioxide (CO2);

Annex A

Methane (CH4); Nitrous oxide (N2O);

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)

This gives the Annex I countries (Developed countries) – compulsory binding targets to reduce green house gas emission.

Back to Kyoto Protocol

For example USA is required to cut down its emission by 7%

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Ok, so far we learned that In Earth Summit, Rio De Janero, Brazil, they formed a treaty called UNFCCC The UNFCCC gangsters meets every year, there is item song, gun-firing, consumption of desi-liquor and deliberations on how to fix the global warming problem and these meetings are called Conference of Parties “COP”. In third such COP meeting @Kyoto, Japan, they come up with an idea under which

Developed nations like US, will compulsorily reduce their green house gas (GHG) emission by 2012.

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Developing nations like India, should reduce GHG emission but not compulsory.

Although various countries signed Kyoto Protocol in 1997, it did not came into force immediately. Kyoto protocol came into force only after required number of Annex 1 Countries ratified it. So this was achieved only in 2005. Thus, Kyoto although signed in 1997, came into force in 2005.

Kyoto protocol: How does it actually work? Suppose Abdul, Bhide and Champak (ABC) goto a Gujarati dining hall. This hall serves only ‘fixed dish’ i.e. 1 sabji, 4 roti,dal and rice. And each dish costs Rs.50. If you want more roti then you’ll have to pay extra 5 rupees per roti. Now Champak is an old man so he cannot eat all the 4 rotis served in his plate. He eats only two rotis. On the other hand, Abdul and Bhide are quite hungry, so they want more, they take 1-1 roti each from Champak’s plate and agree to pay 5-5 rupees to him. Another example: You know how broadband internet billing works= there are plans for example 2GB plan for Rs.500 That means as long as you download music, movies etc. worth less than or equal to 2GB then you’ll get bill of Rs.500 but if you download more files above 2GB quota, then company will charge you Rs.1 per MB of extra download. Similarly, Under Kyoto Protocol, each Annex-B country is given emission target “quota” (Kyoto Units). For example, for the year 2009, Australia’s allowed quota was 2,957,579,143 Kyoto units. (each unit is equivalent to 1 ton of carbon dioxide) Now, as long as Australia emits that much green house gas= no problem. So first of all, Australian Government should do all steps to make sure it doesn’t cross that quota for example

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Making compulsory anti-pollution laws: for example a Tire making company with daily output of 200 tires must not emit more than 200 tonnes of green house gas per year. Promoting solar energy, reducing tax on solar cells, wind mill equipments etc. If a family buys second car then it will have to pay higher tax (just like China’s one child policy but with cars!) if a kid is found bunking his college lecture and loitering on his motorbike then he’ll be fined for polluting the environment.

But even after all these measures, if Australia wants to emit more green house gas, then it will have to buy additional ‘quota or units’ from another country. Kyoto Protocol allows three mechanisms to do so

#1 Emissions Trading / Carbon Trading

But Austrialian Government is unable to maintain this limit and Australia emits 210 units of green house gas. This Is the essence of “Carbon Trading. Now. In real life scenario. Solution =just hold down “Ctrl” Key on your keyboard and move your mouse-wheel upwards and it’ll zoom the image. So it has spare 10 Kyoto Units. each annex B country makes law giving fixed quota to the companies. under Emission trading system. .” Here are some charts to understand it better. So if tire company owner buys superfine machinaries that produce less gas so he has some spare credit/quota (say 1 ton) While Steel factory emits more than its allowed quota (suppose it was allowed 2 tonnes but emitted 3 tonnes) Then the steel company can pay the tire company and get a certificate that we’ve purchase 1 ton quota from this xyz tire company.• • • • • • • Suppose two Annex B parties are Japan and Australia. Japanese Government takes very strong steps to control emission and hence they only emit 90 units of Green House gas. On the other side. Australia can buy this 10 spare kyoto units from Japan and thus remain within its limit. in given year. Japan was given quota of 100 units And Australia was given quota of 200 units. But the text in below image is hard to read (because the original images were in low quality). • • • • • • Suppose steel factory cannot emit more than 1 ton of Green house gas Tire company cannot emit more than 2 tonnes of green house gas.


But Australia can finance a solar power project in some village of India (Non-Annex or developing Country) and get certificate that the solar plant led to reduction of 10 units of green house gas. Similarly. • But this company wants to produce more steel. (1 more unit above the quota) . suppose Australian Government has passed a law that a steel production company with output of 200 tonnes of steel per a day. then its green house gas emission has increased to 11 units. In this way. must not emit more than 10 units of green house gas in a year.#2 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) • • • Suppose Annex B country Australia is given emission quota of 200 units. but it emits 210 units of green house gas. Australia will remain in its quota/limit.

S. to either buy Carbon Credits from in a developing country). the BASIC bloc—Brazil. didn’t ratify Kyoto protocol for the same reason. President Obama too. UNFCCC acknowledged the Copenhagen Accord and has assisted in collecting the • . and get a certificate that it has led to reduction of 1 unit of GHG emission. #3 Joint Implementation (JI) • • • This is identical to CDM. if he is in favor of Kyoto protocol. India. In Joint Implementation. came up with a political agreement. It says all countries should pledge to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emission but all of the pledges made under the Copenhagen Accord are voluntary. Japan to meet the quota. (plus we should also understand that the powerful US industrialist lobby may stop election funds to a candidate.• So this company can also do some solar-projects in India. Canada. while an such obligation so their cost of products @lower MRP = US steel • • So US Government feels is that the treaty is fatally flawed. Denmark = COP15 In the meeting. South Africa. hence they can sell their company will loose customers. India and China—and the U. In CDM. so USA is unlikely to ratify Kyoto or any such future protocols that are legally binding!) Canada Quits Kyoto protocol • In 2011.. become the first country to quit the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. because it does not require developing countries (especially India and China) to commit to emissions reductions.g. There are no binding obligations placed on these pledges by the UNFCCC or any other international body. Brazil etc.g. = problem solved. Why USA did not ratify Kyoto Protocol? • • US President George W Bush refused to ratify Kyoto protocol saying that it would gravely damage the US economy. saying the 1997 accord was handicapped because top green house emitters like the United States and China not covered by it. This agreement is known as the Copenhagen Accord. Australia can do good project in a non-Annex country (developing country) e. After President Bush. 15th such meeting was held @Copenhagen. for example a US steel company would need another company or invest in some projects Indian or Chinese Steel company has no production = low.) What is the Copenhagen Accord? • • • • • Recall that UNFCCC countries meet every year and it is called Conference of Parties (COP). (Because USA has refused to ratify the treaty and China being an Annex II country –has no compulsory responsibility to cut down emission. Australia can do the good project in another Annex B country e.

is second. and declared their intentions (what they want in COP meeting @Doha. In line with the Copenhagen Accord. respectively. As we saw earlier. So nowadays UNECC nations are trying to form factions (small gangs) to discuss what should be their stand in that meeting? • • either extend commitments under Kyoto or create a successor of Kyoto Protocol: a post-2012 international climate treaty. (but this is not legally binding). • Copenhagen Accord also lays the groundwork for financial commitments from developed countries (US. Under the Copenhagen Accord.Brazil etc) for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.S.GHG reduction pledges of various countries. the U. South Africa. against 2005 levels by 2020. BASIC Countries • • • • • • • • Brazil. Besides. along with the US. Doha. United States is the only Annex I country that has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. US is not in favour of any legally binding commitments. Important Players in climate change • • • The First commitment period of Kyoto will end in 2012.2012): • rich countries should take on more of a burden to reduce emissions . BASIC countries. United States • • • • • • China is the world leader in total annual Green House Gas emissions U. EU is third. Qatar in Nov. That’s why. the group accounts for around 30% of global GHG emissions. All of the BASIC countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol. against a 2005 baseline. Obama has to face election in November. (again not legally binding). this group includes the world’s major emerging economies and some of its largest emitters together. BASIC countries recently met in Brazil in September 2012. by 2020. (because these countries are not part of Annex B countries of Kyoto Protocol).S. But they’re not under any binding obligation to meet a specified target. India and China. were the authors of the Copenhagen Accord and will continue to be some of the most influential players in the negotiations.UK) to developing countries (India. the next meeting (COP18. China and India have pledged to reduce their carbon intensity—the amount of GHG emissions per unit GDP—by 40-45% and 20-25%. Qatar in Nov’2012) becomes very critical. has pledged a 17% reduction in GHG emissions.

Bahamas. • 53 countries including the P5 nations (nuclear weapons states) and states not party to the NPT.” new Kyoto commitment period should start on January 1. these are the future victims if green house gas emission is not reduced. nuke-terrorism) Prevent nuclear accidents (at Nuke power plants such as Chernobyl and Fukushima) Why Nuclear Security Summit? • • • Nuclear terrorism cannot cooperation is necessary. Cuba etc. such as India. • • • • • • • • new agreement should “respect the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities. Alliance of Small Island State (AOSIS) Not really a ‘player’. and Israel. [Diplomacy] Nuclear Security Summit at Seoul: Outcomes. AOSIS is an team of 43 small island and low-lying coastal countries (Barbuda. accounting for about 12% of global emissions EU states have ratified Kyoto. Barbados. India’s contribution What is nuclear security? Nuclear security is a series of preemptive measures to • • Prevent nuclear crime (smuggling of nuke materials. be addressed by a single nation- international First Nuclear Security Summit. 2013 European Union (EU) EU is a Party to both the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. EU is the 3rd largest GHG polluter. was held in Washington in 2010. . Second Nuke security Summit was held in Seoul (South Korea) in 2012. Pakistan.because of their historical contribution to global warming.) More green house gas = rise in global temperature = ice melts= sea level rise =many of these areas to become uninhabitable.

every nation should switch to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. More talking We’ll encourage the participation of 11 things. More Policing We’ll increase the physical protection of nuclear facilities We’ll increase the protection of nuclear materials and radioactive sources during transport We’ll prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials We’ll enhance the emergency response capabilities in the case of radiological accidents We’ll share information on persons involved in nuke smuggling via INTERPOL We’ll Build nuclear forensics capacity to identify the source of illicitly trafficked nuclear materials We’ll enhance cyber security at nuclear facilities and Increase the protection of sensitive nuclear security-related information More cleaning • • We’ll improve the management of spent nuclear fuels and radioactive wastes. the media. research. Here are the important ones Goodbye HEU and welcome LEU • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Highly enriched uranium (HEU) is used in nuke reactors and medical field but it can be used for making nuke bombs. stolen . Therefore. We’ll host the next Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands More funding We’ll make voluntary contributions to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund. Radioactive materials are widely used in industrial. academia. NGOs and other civil actors in the discussions on nuclear security. This money will be spent to help the poor countries to upgrade their HEU plants into LEU plants and improve their security. IAEA. Seoul Communiqué After the second nuke summit @Seoul in 2012. the participants agreed to do this. Mohan said I’ll give 1 million dollars in it. and EU INTERPOL Third Nuke Security summit will be held in Netherlands in 2014. medical. agricultural purpose — their security is just as important to prevent and recover lost.• • • UN.

We are a member of the IAEA Commission on Nuclear Safety Standards We are participant in the IAEA’s Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB). We aim to establish an independent Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority which will enhance oversight of nuclear security in India.” India’s commitment to Nuke Security • • • • • • • We’ve donated one million US dollars to the Nuclear Security Fund of International Atomic Energy Agency. • Otherwise. We also cooperate with the Interpol’s Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit and the World Customs Organization. (bill in parliament) . even the decayed and discarded nuke material can be used to make “dirty bombs. 2005 We are taking steps to minimize of use of HEU and upgrading our nuke plants accordingly. We enacted the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act. We have recently developed an Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) that uses LEU fuel.or orphaned sources. it disseminates information on confirmed reports about illicit trafficking and other unauthorized activities and events involving nuclear material.

.• We are party to • • International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material [Diplomacy] Connect Central Asia Policy: Meaning. Features. Significance for India What is Central Asia? It is made up of five nations Country Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Capital Astana Bishkek Dushanbe Ashgabat Tashkent • • Collectively they’re known as Central Asian Republics (CAR) also known as the underbelly of Eurasia Central Asia (Political) Why is Central Asia important for India? • rich resource of hydrocarbons and minerals.

India’s problem in Central Asia? • • Central Asia has huge reserves of hydrocarbon and Minerals. What is Connect Central Asia Policy? • India has launched this “Connect Central Asia Policy” to • • • • • Tap the natural resources (oil.• • lies on the old silk route – connecting China and South Asia to West Asia and Europe. (recall the Chabahar port article) The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan-India(IPI) pipelines projects are not moving smoothly due to Pakistan and Afghanistan. railways and pipelines across this resource-rich region. This policy was formally declared at Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) by our Minister of State (External Affairs) in June 2012.iron-ore etc) of Central Asia. Example • Their Presidents/ PMs coming to India and Mohan doing the reverse. Under this policy. Kazakh oil. through Iran: problem. Turkmen natural gas and Afghan copper through this transportation network. What has China done in Central Asia? China has already built roads.gas. Counter the hegemony (domination) of China in this region. . we’ll do following things Meet and Greet We’ll build strong political relations with these nations via the exchange of high level visits. • • • • Oil pipelines from the Caspian Sea across Kazakhstan gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. So we can setup factories in CAR. deep-sea port of Gwadar in Pakistan China is exploiting the Siberian timber. But we are unable to get them because of Transportation problems • • • • through Afghanistan : problem – region is unstable due to Talibans. we can directly launch our products in EU (decreasing the transportation cost). There are three key locations from which we can access the Central Asia • • • • Chahabar and Bandar Abbas ports in Iran Hajigak/Bamiyan in Afghanistan Bandar Anzali on the Caspian’ll annoy Americans. Mongolian iron ore.

Fire and kill • • We’ll strengthen our strategic and security cooperation with this countries. Right now. . closely both in bilateral and multilateral fora. Russia and Azerbaijan It will connect India to Central Asia through Iran via rail. International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) • • It is a joint venture between Iran.e SCO. Military training. International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) Teach and Heal • We’ll help set up a Central Asian University in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) to impart world class education in areas like IT. parades. joint research. India.• • Inviting their Presidents as chief guests on our 26 th Jan. road and ship network. So.) Mohan will continue to interact with Central Asian leaders. consultations on Afghanistan. counter-terrorism coordination and close Trade and Prosper • • • • Proposed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement Kazakhstan. as well as abundant cheap electricity. UN etc. Eurasian Economic Community (EEC). have almost limitless reserves of iron ore and coal. due to absence of a viable banking infrastructure in the Central Asian region. Custom Union. India can help set up several medium size steel rolling mills. producing its requirement of specific products. i. philosophy and languages. management. we are unable to do much trade and investment. Indian banks will be setting up branches here.

We’ll be setting up civil hospitals/clinics in Central Asia. [Diplomacy] ADDU declaration in SAARC Summit What is SAARC? • • • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) established 1985 HQ: Kathmandu Members of SAARC . to deliver. civil society and youth delegations to gain deeper insights into each other’s cultures.• • • • • We’ll set up a Central Asian e-network with its hub in India. We will encourage regular exchanges of scholars. (lolz perhaps via Air India!) Central Asian countries could emerge as attractive holiday destinations for tourists and even for the Indian film industry which likes to depict exotic foreign locales in its films. linking all the five Central Asian States. academics. teleeducation and tele-medicine connectivity. Fly and Film We’ll improve air connectivity with those countries.

(September 2011) Theme of this Addu summit : Building Bridges. where 17th SAARC conference was held. where USA is not a observer? Hint: www. issued a 20-points declaration here. which is known . The leaders of SAARC Nations. but do you recall any organization(s).org/diplomacy What is ADDU declaration? • • • Addu is the second largest city of Mamldives (capital is Male).Mrunal.finally one map in google search doesn’t include Kashmir in Pakistan 8 Members 9 Observors • • • Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Maldives • • • • • • • • • Australia China European Union Iran Japan Mauritius Myanmar South Korea United States • • • • • Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka It seems United States is an observer in pretty much every organization.

Addu declaration means “We (the SAARC leaders) will do this. • By the way. Maldives in 2012. . SAFTA is to reduce customs duties of all traded goods to zero by the year 2016. SAFTA • • • • South Asian Free Trade Area or SAFTA is an agreement reached at the 12th SAARC summit in Islamabad. Here are the important (and easy to remember) points. Pakistan [2004]. this and this. Nepal in 2013. the 18 th Summit will be held in Kathmandu. Trade fair • To hold the Twelfth SAARC Trade Fair + SAARC Travel and Tourism Fair in Kulhudhuffushi. ADDU says we’ll intensify efforts to fully and effectively implement SAFTA Investment SAARC Finance Ministers will work for greater flow of financial capital and intraregional long-term “Addu Declaration”. In 20 things” Out of the 20 points of ADDU declaration.

perhaps!?] Establishment of long-term linkages among universities. taking into account its linkages with illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs. will it be recognized in Pakistan. [So.Railway • • Boat Try for Regional Railways Agreement Should do a demonstration run of a container train (Bangladesh – India – Nepal). IIPM degree. Piracy Cooperate to combat maritime piracy in the region. research institutions and think-tanks in the region. Media . Energy Cooperation and the Study on the Regional Power Exchange Concept as also the work related to SAARC Market for Electricity. Women empowerment of women and gender equality in the region Work on the Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution Education • • Mutual recognition of academic and professional degrees. • • • • • work on the Indian Ocean Cargo and Passenger Ferry Service this will revolutionise movement of people and goods within the region. which is not recognized by UGC. appropriate percentage of national income should go towards the respective countries’ renewable energy investments Food security • • Work on SAARC Food Bank. Climate timely implementation of the Thimphu Statement on Climate Change. This Food Bank will supplement national efforts to provide food security to the people of the region. psychotropic substances and small arms Make coordinated and concerted efforts to combat terrorism [good joke. given that Pakistan is also in SAARC] Crime • • • • Ratify of the SAARC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. Terrorism • • root out terrorism.

army. Naresh Chandra Recommendations of Naresh Chandra Task Force on National security [not exhaustive] . and gave the report in 2012 (somewhere in August) • • to review the current the national security system to suggest measures to strengthen the national security apparatus. [Diplomacy] National Security: Naresh Chandra Task Force recommendations Why this Task Force? • It was setup by Mohan in 2011. IB. navy officers etc. decide which day to celebrate as SAARC Media day.• • convene a Regional Conference on Media to consider deepening collaboration in the region. RAW. Naresh Chandra is a retired IAS and rest of the team has diplomats. defense experts.

diplomatically. On Pakistan • • • Pakistani military hasnot given up the use of radical Islamic groups to promote terrorism in both India and Afghanistan biggest concern is Pakistan’s ambition to use Afghanistan for strategic depth. economically and through military assistance to ensure that Pakistani efforts to convert Afghanistan into an extremist run. India should spare no effort. politically. China will continue to utilize Pakistan as part of its grand strategy for containing India in a “South Asian box”. Army be given management of Sino-Indian borders and India should become more assertive in dealing with China.On the Enemies of India On China • • • • • China will become militarily more assertive and nationalistic as its economic and military power grows. Therefore India should shift focus of national security strategy from Pakistan to China. pliant and client state are frustrated. . United states will become more circumspect and accommodating in dealing with China.

] APA will be assisted by • • • • • • • • UGC (University Grants Commission) CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) BARC ( Bhabha Atomic Research Centre TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) Indian Institute of Science. [because in 2004 a short-lived ceasefire-cum-talks between the Andhra Pradesh establishment and CPI (Maoist) was conveniently used by the naxalites to regroup and rearm themselves. Even during the talks and negotiations.] • • More army presence in Naxal areas • • Army should not involve in direct combat with naxals but army should establish more training institutes in Naxal areas. [scientific advisor to the Raksha Mantri (SA to RM). Bangalore. This may help in eroding the support base of the Naxalites. APA will not be involved with DRDO DRDO must assume responsibility for managing the DRDO’s laboratories and . army should reach out to the tribals residing in surrounding villages by offering them facilities like schools. Army training schools proposed in Jharkhand. Chhattisgarh. universities and private laboratories. • Make More Institutions Advanced Projects Agency (APA) • • • to undertake high-risk futuristic military research. Instead. medical care and potable drinking water. the Area domination will have to continue and forces must keep track of the Maoist elements who come overground for the talks. The head of APA will act as Scientific Advisor to Defense Minister. APA would fund research in institutions like IITs. it’ll lead to confusion and division within the “pro-talk” and “anti-talk” elements in Naxal leadership.On Naxalites Secret Talks • • government give up its pre-condition of cessation of violence for opening talks with Naxalites. And then. Government should try to secretly reach the pro-talks elements within the top Naxal leadership and tell them that the government will not be cowed down by their acts of violence and that dialogue is the best option to redress their grievances. from those traninig institutes. Even if the peace efforts do not lead to solution. Odisha and Maharashtra will help train the central paramilitary forces engaged in counterNaxal duties in jungle warfare.

It requires huge time and effort to train new IFS officers and making them proficient in English and other foreign languages. particularly with respect to securing access to strategic materials. academia. using the latest technologies already developed by foreign entities. Airforce) and Ministry of Defence Diplomats • • The ministry of external affairs (MEA) doesn’t have enough diplomats to “anticipate. private sector. comprising representatives of DRDO. Get more Staff [Personnel] Overall • • • Amend the Prevention of Corruption Act to reassure honest officers that they’ll not be harassed for making defence equipment purchases. while IAS/IPS training done in about 2 years] • • . Induct more foreign language experts into the intelligence and security agencies. Some other IFS officers showing their ‘mardaangi’ by beating up wives and maids and appearing in newspaper headlines every now and then. Navy. Allow more cross-postings between Service HQ (Army. military. hydrocarbons etc. Defense university and Think Tank • • • establish a National defense University (NDU) create a separate think-tank on internal security.research centres and ensuring the on-time delivery of projects undertaken there. Bureau of politico-military affairs • • • Defence ministry should set up a bureau of politico-military affairs this Bureau would be liaison with the ministry of external affairs (MEA) on issues and actions having foreign policy applications ministry of external affairs (MEA) should not work in isolation from other ministries. analyze and act on contemporary challenges” quality of new recruits (through UPSC) is often uneven • (for example UPSC topper Alok Ranjan Jha became IFS but allegedly got drunk and misbehaved with Air India staff in New York and thus he was recalled. [IFS training takes around 3 years. A sub-group on defense technology.) several recruits refuse to join the MEA. military and other stakeholders. FDI in defense • • • Right now only 26% Need to increase it to 49% So that we can manufacture items in India.

These special force will be dealing with foreign backed proxy wars and combat search and rescue operation or handling hostage crisis. He’ll be in charge of making net assessment about the strengths and weaknesses of India’s adversaries—China and Pakistan—in a holistic manner Currently. hydrocarbons. Ministry of External Affairs should accept officials from civil services and armed forces on short duration (five years) deputations rather than solely relying on UPSC. Navy.] [Diplomacy] Syrian Unrest explained. should be staffed with “consultants with the requisite technical and technological background. which are required to play a key role in issues such as acquisition of raw materials. [something like US NAVY SEALS that killed Bin Laden. Indian embassies and missions. which remains buried in files that never see the light of the day. Airforce). the three services make their individual assessments [about China and Pak]. Kofi Anna’s Peace plan • • • • • • • What is the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims? Syria President Assad Family Syrian Unrest Who supports Assad and why? Who is against Assad and why? Reaction of the world .• • Therefore. Special Forces • • a separate command structure under the chairman chiefs of staff committee. Assad’s Friends and Foes. Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) Need COSC to keep an eye on China and Pak • • • He will have a fixed tenure of two years and will be rotated among the three services (Army.

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Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria Houla massacre UN General Assembly India’s problem

At the heart of most Political unrests in Middle east, lies the Shia – Sunni conflict. So first question What is the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims?

Both Shia and Sunni agree on the fundamentals of Islam and share the same Holy Book (The Quran), but Differences originate from the question of who would succeed the Prophet Muhammad as leader of the Muslim community after his death. Shia They wanted Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali to be appointed as Caliph (politico-social leader) of Muslim community.

Sunni They chose Abu Bakr, a close Companion of the Prophet Muhammad, as the Caliph (politico-social leader) of Muslim community. Syria

Syria and its Neighbours

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Damascus =Syria’s capital Aleppo =Syria’s largest city.

President Assad Family Bashar al-Assad’s father ruled Syria for nearly 30 years and died in 2000. From 2000 to this date, Bashar Al Assad is the President of Syria. al-Assad family is Alawite, a small branch of Shia Muslims. But nearly 75% of Syria’s population is Sunni Muslims. Bashar has filled key positions in his government with either his family members or the Alawite Minority Muslims. Combined with rampant corruption, inflation, unemployment, Syria was sitting on a volcano about to erupt.

Syrian Unrest

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In January 2011, revolution in Tunisia marked the start of the so-called Arab Spring. In March 2011, violence broke out in Daraa, Syria, after a group of children and teenagers were arrested for writing political graffiti. Dozens of people were killed when security forces cracked down on protesters. Demonstrators soon called for al-Assad to leave office, following in the footsteps of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Al-Assad promised to make changes, and he lifted the country’s state-ofemergency law, which for 48 years gave the regime the power to detain anyone without charge and hold them indefinitely. But just four days after the emergency law was lifted in April 2011, the Syrian regime sent thousands of troops into Daraa for a wide-scale crackdown Since then, the violence has only increased, spreading throughout the country and becoming a full-fledged civil war between the regime and an armed resistance. More than 10,000 citizen had been killed by Assad’s Military crackdown.

Who supports Assad and why? Who Iran Hezbollah Russia Why they support Assad? Because ruled by Shia Because it is a Shia Militant group cum Political party based in Lebanon. Has a naval port and large diaspora. [we already discussed that in detail, earlier Click ME]

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Has massive investments in Syria, in energy sector [oil,gas etc.].

Assad has given major defense contracts to China. [missile Development etc] Chinese Government doesn’t want Chinese protestors to replay the same events at home, demanding freedom of speech and democracy.

It doesn’t want America to dominate over this region.

Who is against Assad and why? Who? Junta of Syria Saudi Arabia Bahrain Why against Assad? Common sense. because ruled by Sunnis. Same as above.


Syria has been actively supporting Hamas and Hezbollah while sharing a border with Israel. If America could somehow install a friendly regime (new President), then it’d help it gain absolute hegemony (domination) over the Middle East and further isolate Iran.

Reaction of the world

United States and many of its Western allies have imposed economic sanctions against Syria, condemning al-Assad and demanding that he leave power.

Divided Security Council [UNSC] that failed to forcefully back his effort.N. negotiation. Russia and China have twice used their veto power to block strong Western. OIC has suspended Syria’s membership. Since Kofi took on the job. Syrian government’s intransigence [stubbornness] 2. Security Council [UNSC] to do the same. Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria Also known as six-point peace plan for Syria February 2012.-Arab League special envoy to Syria to settle down the Syrian crisis. the Rebels started attacking Government establishments again.N. [From February to August 2012] and he gave following reasons why he couldn’t solve Syrian crisis 1. China and Russia — two of Syria’s commercial partners — have vetoed several proposed resolutions on Syria in the UNSC. it passed the resolution that denounced Syria’s crackdown on its . 2012 • UN General Assembly • • Has 193 members. In August 2012. who will stay on until Aug. but it didn’t materialize because Houla massacre • • • it is a region in Syria.etc. and thus providing convenient excuse to President Assad to continue mass-murdering innocent civilians.etc. the growing militancy of Syrian rebels [as long as they use violence. Saudi and Bahrain are providing weapons to the Syrian rebels. Then Government and rebels would do talks. Assad would ceasefire and withdraw the troops and crackdown. Assad gets convinient excuse to use military] 3.N. Kofi Annan was appointed as the joint U. adding that the he’ll search for successor to Kofi. Syrian government alleged that Al-Qaeda terrorist groups were responsible for the killings while Houla residents and opposition groups allege Syrian military’s hand behind the incident. Foreign Reporters would be allowed to do news-coverage etc. Kofi got frustrated and resigned from the envoy job after working for around 6 months.• • • • • • • • But they have not persuaded the U. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he accepted Kofi’s resignation with deep regret.and Arab-backed action against President Bashar Assad’s regime. 31. March 2012. he submitted 6-point peace plan to UN According to this plan. again. U. allow more Sunnis in parliament. where 100+ civilians were killed in May 2012. Why Kofi Annan’s Mission failed? • • • • • After this Houla massacre.

Jammu n Kashmir • • • • • • • • • • • Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Why is it in News? Two main outcomes of OIC summit On Rohingyas On Syrian Unrest The pot calling the kettle black Why India is not a member of OIC? India and OIC: Problem area Jammu and Kashmir = Free country Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organization consisting of 57 member states. • • • • • India abstained from this voting. Why is it in News? .people and demanded that the country lockdown its chemical and biological weapons. India’s problem India needs Saudi Arab for energy security and for keeping pressure on Pakistan over Kashmir and terror issues. [recall the Chahbahar port article. India has signaled its broad support for the Arab League and its positions on Syria. India can’t ignore the strategic significance of Iran for its regional policy towards Afghanistan. to safeguard the interests and ensure the progress and wellbeing of Muslims. But India is reluctant to back any externally induced regime change in Syria [Diplomacy] Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC): suspension of Syria. Rohingyas. At the same time.] Overall. Pakistan and Central Asia. Established in 1969.

in the city of Mecca. by President Bashar AlAssad’s troops. Unofficial reason: put pressure on Syrian Government to stop massacring the people. This is only the fourth time in the history of OIC. On Syrian Unrest • • • More than 10. that an emergency summit has been called. Two main outcomes of OIC summit On Rohingyas • • • • OIC condemned the violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. called up an emergency summit of OIC in midAugust 2012. OIC also released 14-point resolution to pressurise the Myanmarese government to stop the widespread discrimination and administrative hostility being faced by Rohingya Muslims. Why? Official reason: to address the urgent agenda of the deepening divisions within and between Muslim majority states. This was done to send message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that OIC members will not accept the regime killing its people. King Abdulla ordered assistance of $50 million to the Rohingyas. OIC has suspended Syria’s membership on 15 th August 2012. . Although Myanmar Government maintains that the violence in the Rakhine state has anything to do with race or religion.• • • • King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia..000 protestors have been massacred so far. has avoided a political confrontation with the OIC and other leading Islamic nations.

under Pakistani influence.• Although Iran (an OIC member) rejected the proposal saying : “suspension of Syria’s membership does not really resolve the issue and is not in line with the OIC charter” but majority of OIC members voted in favor of Syria’s removal. In this latest OIC summit (Aug-2012). Jammu and Kashmir = Free country In the Final Communique at OIC Summit 2012. and Kashmiri separatists were also invited to attend the summits. And. But now it appears that Pakistan’s influence at the OIC is fading. if the world’s then largest Muslim country walked out. So. For example: Ruled by Sunnis Minority population’s problem OIC member Saudi Arabia • • Shias complain about the lack of access to government jobs and full religious freedoms. Why? In 1969. India and OIC: Problem area • • • • Over the years. for the first time since 1995. Pakistan could not muster an invitation for All Party Hurriyat Conference. the first ever Islamic Summit Conference held Rabat [Capital of Morocco] At that time. the OIC itself is having trouble securing the rights of Muslim minorities and even majorities within its own member states. India couldn’t get admitted to OIC. Pakistan was the largest Muslim country in the world. while China and USA are not even observer states. Thus. OIC communiqué (a letter issued to press after the summit) used to equate Kashmir issue with Palestine. in his capacity as the chairman of Islamic Conference has decided to withdraw the invitation extended to Indians and bar the Indian delegation from entering Morocco. But problem is far from over. and refered to Jammu and Kashmir as an “occupied territory”. Bahrain Sunnis Why India is not a member of OIC? • • • • • • • • India has second largest population of Muslims in the world [Indonesia is first]. the it was mentioned that . Sidenote: India is an Observer state in OIC. King Hassan of Jordan. if India was allowed membership. For OIC it would have been a diplomatic disaster and death knell to the organization. yet we are not a member of OIC. Pakistani President Gen Yahya Khan had threatened to boycott the summit. Shia majority has unhappy with them because of the misrule and underdevelopment. The pot calling the kettle black • While OIC calls for protecting the rights of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Iraq. . Somalia. Central African Republic and Southern Sudan. South Sudan. The group has been fighting the Ugandan army for years and has been driven out of Uganda and is now scattered across Congo. CAR. [Diplomacy] Joseph Koni. Congo. where it conducts brutal attacks Spread of LRA activity = Uganda. the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Turkish-Cyprus in addressing the challenges facing these countries. Yemen. Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir. Uganda Child Soldiers Guest Article by Varoon Bakshi.“The Summit affirms its solidarity and full support for Sudan. Lord’s Resistance Army. • • • • • • • • Lord’s Resistance Army Timeline Joseph Koni and his atrocities Kony 2012 – Viral Campaign on Youtube Lord’s Resistance Army The Lord’s Resistance Army is a rebel group led by leader Joseph Kony.” Indian Government officially opposed this statement and said This is erroneous and factually incorrect mention about an integral part of India by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Ivory Coast. The group originated in Northern Uganda as a movement to fight for the rights of the Acholi people.

a man named Joseph Kony.Kony refuses to sign a permanent truce under the Juba Peace talk because the ICC warrants have not be withdrawn against him. The LRA starts abducting children from not only Uganda but also South Sudan. they had a lot of grudge against the Ugandan govt. Thus in this time of turmoil for the movement. like abductions. the Holy Spirit Movement gathered momentum however a battle fought between the movement and the Ugandan army resulted in its defeat and exile of Alice Lakwena from Uganda to Kenya.In 2006 Joseph Kony was indicted by the International Criminal Court for various war crimes.In 2005 the International Criminal Court issued warrants against 5LRA commanders. Thus the militaries/militias of Uganda. South Sudan and Congo launch Operation Lightening Thunder against the LRA. This led the LRA to move into remote regions of northern Uganda 2005 ICC issues warrants against Kony and his 4 commanders. killings. Thus LRA resumes its violent activities. including Kony 2006 Indictment of Kony by ICC.Timeline • 1980 Holy Spirit Movement . rape etc. relations between both the countries had improved) against the LRA.The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) came to life as the Holy Spirit Movement in the early 1980s by a woman called Alice Lakwena who claimed that the Holy Spirit had ordered her to overthrow the Ugandan govt because of the atrocities it commits against the Acholi people. Congo and the Central African Republic . 2008 Juba Peace Talks and resumption of insurgency. the Ugandan government launched Operation Iron Fist (with cooperation with the Sudanese government. The Acholi’s live in Northern Uganda.In 2002. In 2006 a second truce is agreed by both the sides (LRA and Ugandan govt) mediated by the Southern Sudan. 1987 LRA Insurgeny. • • • • • • • . A large number of Acholi people flocked to Alice Lakwena.The Lord’s Resistance Army started armed insurgency activity in 1987 2002 Operation Iron Fist. claiming to be the cousin of Alice Lakwena took over as leader of the movement and renamed it as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

It was viewed on video sharing sites like You Tube. Invisible Children. The documentary was directed by film maker Jason Russell. [Yearbook] Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) . cooks. Moreover 100 US Special Forces operatives are aiding and advising the armies of 4 African nations which are pursuing the LRA. but Kony has thwarted such attempts. Numerous attempts have been launched to reach a peace agreement with the LRA. Invisible Children has been putting in enormous effort to get Kony arrested. Vimeo. • • • Kony 2012 – Viral Campaign on Youtube • • • In March 2012. The documentary went “viral” in March 2012 and became popular amongst millions of people around the world.• 2011 Involvement of US forces. The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants against Joseph Kony and his men but he has not been arrested till now.United States dispatched 100 military advisors to Central Africa Joseph Koni and his atrocities • The LRA under Kony’s command has been accused of abducting children and turning them into vicious child soldiers. However the LRA has spread its tentacles to Congo where the MONUSCO is under-staffed and has had problems to contain it. weapons carriers. however the Ugandan Army claims that it has weakened the LRA significantly. The able bodied children are taken away and used as soldiers. those who do not cooperate with LRA has either killed or mutilated. The documentary was the result of the effort of the charity and campaign group. a 30 minute documentary called Kony 2012. porters and even sex slaves. Most of these children are abducted from various villages. based on Joseph Kony was released. Jason Russell made the documentary for the campaign group “Invisible Children Inc”.

i. created under department of telecommunications.A guest article by Mr. unspent amount under target financial year does not lapse. The service provider is usually chosen through a bidding process on least quoted subsidy support basis (minimum subsidy maximum service). Exception.. e-mail no need to contribute. All credits to the fund require parliamentary approval and it has a statutory support under Indian Telegraph (amendment) act 2003. . accrues for next years’ spending.e. Creation of Infrastructure for mobile services in remote. It is a non-lapsable fund i.where from? • • Through a Universal service levy. What are the activities undertaken? • • • • • • • • Installation of village public telephones in every revenue village of 1991 census and additional revenue village of 2001 census. Provision of rural community telephones at next 5% of adjusted gross revenue of all telecom service providers. Induction of new technologies like national optic fibre network in rural areas. rural areas.where from? Timeline Why is it news? Universal Service Obligation Fund What is it? • • • • • There is a ‘Universal’ associated so obviously this must be one amongst the inclusive development strategies of the government. For all the above activities a service provider gets grants from the USOF like a subsidy. A fund exclusively for meeting the above objectives. Provision of broadband in villages in a phased manner. focus on providing telecom services to rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices.e. Resources.Manikandan • • • • • What is it? What are the activities undertaken? Resources.. Provision of household telephones in rural areas. Here the idea is to provide universal access to telecom services .pure value added service providers like internet. Ministry of communication and information technology. voice mail.

. Ultimately our wish let there be inclusion. Timeline 1910 1999 ITA(2003)amendment ITA(2004)amendment ITA(2006)amendment Why is it news? Theodre vail of AT&T (American multinational telecommunication corp) in a annual report makes passing reference to universal service Cabinet defines Universal service objectives in Telecom services Statutory support for USOF Rules for administration of the fund notified Mobile and broadband service providence included into its ambit • • • • • First BSNL was selected as service provider in many areas unilaterally for provision of services and given grants.• • Also some quantum of funds to come thru central govt. says private providers are not willing to establish infra in core affected areas so choice BSNL is inevitable. Govt. also private players will try to exploit this scheme for business ends. maoist affected areas a project designed by current FM P . Specialty in this scheme is that it also does some allocation under gender budgeting. • • [Science] Bionic Eye Guest article by Sarath Chandra. for providing services to women. money . but only if their blindness was caused by a faulty retina. Third now a proposal to provide services in LWE(left wing) affected areas is on the table of finance ministry. like broadband access to women SHGs. improved connectivity and security.Chidambaram for improving security is likely to get its allocation this time. For GS (Mains) Paper II • • BIONIC EYE Examples of Bionic Eye Implants BIONIC EYE The implants are said to be capable of completely restoring sight to blind patients. misusing govt subsidy. Second delay in implementation and provision of services by BSNL is under critic . grants. The provision of connectivity in naxal. diabetic retinopathy or any other degenerative eye disease. a proposal to this effect already rejected during tenure Shri Pranab Mukherjee citing too much demand for funds and want of allowing private players as service providers to make it more competitive. BSNL says it has already created infra in rural areas and now if you allow other private players it is a waste of Govt. as in macular degeneration (suffered by millions of elderly people). so ask other players to use established facilities in rented basis.

NAG. RISAT. on top of the retina. which send signals to the antenna. [Science] Nirbhay. sub-sonic cruise missile. NAMICA. Project. Helina. developed by the U. Tropex-2012. a long-range.latest developments in Bionic Eye Implants Argus II roughly four-hour procedure Costing around $115. LAHAT. Glass and Glivec Some more Important Science and Tech topics for General Studies.000 Bio-Retina operation only takes about 30 minutes can be done under local anesthesia.S. The antenna is wired into the retina which creates display for the brain to interpret. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Nirbhay NAG NAMICA Helina LAHAT Tropex-2012 Shoor Veer National Large Solar Telescope (NLST) RISAT 1 ISRO’s 100 th mission Project Glass Glivec Nirbhay sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay is India’s equivalent of Tomahawk. • • does not incorporate an external camera but instead utilizes a visionrestoration sensor that is actually placed inside the eye. SPOT-6. cost of about $60.000 • involves the installation of an antenna behind the affected eye that works in with a pair of camera-equipped glasses. developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) .

. will be used in the upgraded Arjun battle Shoor Veer Combat exercise in the Thar Desert in 2012 To test Army’s operational readiness to undertake swift multiple thrusts across the border. Helina =Helicopter + Nag LAHAT Laser Homing Attack or Laser Homing Anti-Tank missile anti-tank missile. Do you recall JIMEX? If not go to www. weapons sensors. can destroy enemy tanks four km away NAMICA Nag Missile Carrier It is a vehicle to carry and launch NAG missles. • • • • ‘fire and forget’ anti-tank missile.mrunal. Tropex-2012 theatre-level readiness and operational exercise conducted by the Indian Navy To test new platforms. NAMICA Helina • • • • • • • • • • the helicopter-fired version of Nag. communication systems and tactics in order to optimise the network combat power of the fleet.• NAG will travel at a sub-sonic speed (less than the speed of sound).

” It gives you data about your surroundings without the need to whip out your smartphone and know what to search. Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh Project Glass • • • • a research and development program by Google. and lead you to your desired book. Google Glass will be able to provide you with an indoor map of the place. but rather through your “eyes. if you go into a bookstore. . For example. ISRO’s 100th mission • • • • Using PSLV-C21 rocket. Glivec • • blood cancer drug Novartis is fighting a patent case in India for this drug. It will help in paddy monitoring and management of natural disaster like flood and cyclone. resembles a pair of normal eyeglasses where the lens is replaced by a heads-up display. in Ladakh. unmanned aerial vehicles and attack helicopters National Large Solar Telescope (NLST) • • • • • • world’s largest solar telescope set up by the Department of Science and Technology. Project Glass is a wearable computer that provides information not through a screen. aims to study the sun’s microscopic structure RISAT 1 RISAT 1 is India’s first radar imaging satellite It can scan the earth surface during both day and night under all weather condition.• Army and IAF tested new battle fighting concepts with real time pictures of the battle zone provided to a centralized command using fighter jets. ISRO launched two foreign satellites SPOT 6: French satellite Proiteres: Japanese micro satellite From Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

GRAIL. usually insects. It does not get stuck to the wound and heals burns. There is no combustion involved but the nicotine in the device is still . due to reduced insecticide use and pest attack. rather than smoke. cuts and any septic and infected wounds two to three times faster than traditional methods do. Trap Crop • • • • A trap crop is a plant that attracts agricultural pests. away from nearby main crops. it contains no antibiotics and is therefore effective against drug-resistant bacteria E-cigarettes Electronic cigarettes are devices that deliver nicotine through a vapour. Created by Russian scientists It helps clean up wounds of all known types of toxic bacteria.1. a few Mustard plants are grown near near strawberries to attract bugs and thus protecting the main crop (strawberries). Marigold can be used asa a trap crop in potato farming. VitaVallis • • • • • • • It is a nano-dressing for applying on wounds.000 per month per patient. The dressing stops bleeding.• Treatment of Glivec costs Rs.20. It also helps kill pain and remove foul wound odour. Science] VitaVallis. eliminates swellings and stimulates skin regeneration. ends inflammation. It results into more profits for the farmers. For example. Nexus-7 and E-cigarettes (2 markers for GS Mains) • • • • • GRAIL GRAIL Trap Crop VitaVallis E-cigarettes Nexus-7 • • Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) is an American lunar science mission in Why? to study the gravity field and geological structure of the Moon and determine its interior structure. Similarly. Trap Crops. But Novartis maintains they give it free of cost to the needy patients.

here is the new list. (List is not exhastive. made from The Hindu Science & Tech articles from 1st May to 31 st August 2012. I might have missed some topics. Made in partnership with hardware maker Asus. Click on following links if you haven’t seen them already: [Revision] Science-Tech Highlight from The Hindu 2011 A to F (Part I) [Revision] Science-Tech Highlight from The Hindu 2011 G to N (Part II) [Revision] Science-Tech Highlight from The Hindu 2011 OtoZ (Part III.derived from tobacco. • It used by smokers trying to quit the lethal habit of smoking can actually cause lung damage Nexus-7 • • • Tablet PC from google.) • • • • Dhiraj 101 Balwan Pyaj Coniophis Spin OLED . SSC. Contains Jelly Bean’ version of Google's operating system (OS) [Revision] The Hindu science & Tech (May-Aug 2012) for GS (Mains) 2 Markers Introduction This article is for General Studies 2 or 5 markers in UPSC Mains Examination (and some for MCQs in CSAT. IBPS etc exams) • • • • Earlier I had provided the revision notes for The Hindu Science & Tech (upto April 2012). The End) Now moving on.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC) NASA’s Cassini spacecraft CQD solar Cells Chang’e Shenzhou-9 CO-4 grass Dark circles around eyes Dragon capsule Zero farming Pearlspot farming green rust Kasalath Telstar OraQuick Truvada Type Ia supernova How mosquitoes fly in rain Can curd and yoghurt be called as probiotics? lactose intolerance Isocyanic acid Jimmy Wales Kinesio tape Naper Bajra grass Chromosphere NuSTAR Probiotics Red tide Refrigerated onions Curiosity Science Express Solar storms .

and also stronger than steel. Coniophis A transitional snake an intermediate form between lizards and the highly evolved snakes seen today combining a snake-like body with a lizard-like head Spin OLED Spin organic light-emitting diode (OLED) U. Nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC) • • • • anti-oxidant compound in the tree pulp flexible. Chang’e Name of lunar probe launch of China. It is brighter.• • • • • tropical enteropathy. (UPSC has nasty habit of asking some rice/wheat variety every now and then. They’re Very cheap compared to regular solar cells. durable. cheaper and more eco-friendly LED light than those currently widely used in electronic devices. Nirmal Rajya Mt Tongariro Food Irradiation Dhiraj 101 groundnut variety that does not need much water. help improve health and anti-aging products by neutralizing more of the harmful free-radicals found in the body NASA’s Cassini spacecraft • • • • • • For studying Saturn and its moons. CQD solar Cells colloidal quantum dot (CQD) Solar cells. physicists have invented it.S. first in 2007 Chang’e 2 in 2010 .) Balwan Pyaj • • • • • • • Onion variety has a longer shelf life as compared to other commercial varieties.

Even small scale farmers and women can grow the fishes in the backyard. It’ll dock with the International Space Station. . It dispels the myth that hybrid seeds.• • both named for the Chinese goddess of the moon. space company. Shenzhou-9 spacecraft became China’s longest-ever space mission and was notable for including the nation’s first woman astronaut. green rust • • A rare kind of mineral could be used to scrape toxic metals and radioactive species from the environment. This results in a generalised dehydration causing the thin under eye skin to go into a fine wrinkling pattern which gives the appearance of dark circles under the eye. In future private companies will try take on the task of transporting humans and cargo to orbits around Earth.S. Zero farming • • • Zero farming method requires no ploughing. it is common to have puffy eyes after a long bout of sleep. Dark circles around eyes Why do we develop dark circles around our eyes when we have had insufficient sleep? Skin under the eye lids is very thin and delicate. fertilizers or weeding. CO-4 grass • • • variety of grass used to feed the milking animals in South India. On the other hand. fertilizers. and pest-control techniques alone can guarantee good yield. ‘Sleeping less’ also usually implies overwork and poor eating. • Dragon capsule • • • • unmanned space capsule developed by a private U. Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). This makes it prone to show both dehydration and water-logging in an exaggerated fashion. Pearlspot farming • • fish farming in captivity requires minimum investment and harvesting is easy. This can be explained by the fact that when we lie flat the excess fluid that normally pools in the lower limbs gets distributed all over the body. Concept revolves around the theory that ‘nature knows best’ and hence it is better to leave everything in her care.

How mosquitoes fly in rain mosquito’s strong exoskeleton and low mass render it impervious to falling raindrops. it is important that for any strain/product to be classified as a probiotic it must be or must contain live microorganisms (generally numbering one billion) which are resistant to gastric acid. But it is given during diarrhoea to rehydrate. The number and type of bacteria also vary from home to home. The role of buttermilk in treating diarrhoea has not been scientifically proven. This is due to lack of privacy and loss of confidentiality and fear of visibility in public settings. on the other hand. • • • . getting people to test is the hardest part. According to the 2001 definition of probiotics by FAO/WHO. launched in 1962 2012 marks the half centuary of its launch. OraQuick Oral kit for HIV Test It detects antibodies developed within 1-3 months after getting infected. in a stigmatised disease like HIV. Curd is defined as a product obtained by souring boiled or pasteurized milk naturally. and hence it imparts some benefit. It cannot pick up acute or recent infection. So people desire private testing options. The over-the-counter OraQuick test is a historic milestone because it is a step towards destigmatisation of HIV and normalising an HIV diagnosis. Curd and yoghurt cannot be called as true probiotics. which are not defined qualitatively/quantitatively. used to measure the expansion of the universe. Growing rice in soil poor in phosphorus possible with this variety. Truvada • • • oral pill to reduce HIV transmission Type Ia supernova important stellar phenomena. is obtained by lactic acid fermentation of milk by Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophillus. It should be scientifically validated through well controlled clinical trials. It may contain a wide variety of bacteria. Yoghurt. Telstar was the first communications satellite.Kasalath • • • • • • • • A rice variety origin in eastern States of India. by harmless lactic acid bacteria or other bacterial cultures. Can curd and yoghurt be called as probiotics? • • No. which are not true probiotics as per the definition. bile and pancreatic juices and reach the target site (small intestine/large intestine) in numbers sufficient enough to elicit a beneficial effect.

Kinesio tape can stretch and contract.” probiotics can shorten the duration of diarrhoea by half-a-day Probiotics are generally beneficial in treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal disease.lactose intolerance • • In this disease patients cannot digest lactose since they lack the enzymes that are needed to break down lactose. all through the year without break Chromosphere • • • • area of the sun’s low atmosphere constantly changing magnetic fields NuSTAR NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array to see the highest energy X-rays in our universe. can supply raw material to run one 10 MW biomass electric power mill. in future help in the hunt for black holes. In fermented products like curd and buttermilk. release toxic isocyanic acid in the troposphere. Jimmy Wales • • • • • • • • Wikipedia founder Kinesio tape a strong elasticated tape. Popular among atheltes. Hence these products are easier to digest and used by those patients. Isocyanic acid • Forest fires and emission of air pollutants. Runners can continue to train even when they have a problem. most of the lactose is converted to lactic acid/acetic acid by the enzymes that are found in fermenting bacteria. inhibiting damaging movements but allowing the right kind. continuously. was developed more than 30 years ago by a Japanese chiropractor. Naper Bajra grass also called as NB CO-4 hybrid or Emperor grass. . This grass can be grown in most soil types. which include fumes from vehicles running on diesel and slow burning of coal and charcoal. Probiotics • • • microorganisms that exhibit beneficial health effects for hosts when a sufficient amount of them are ingested. the milk sugar.

and if there are any microorganisms present on the planet. They deplete the dissolved oxygen from water and release toxin substances thus killing the marine and coastal species of fish.9 Earth years). This simple tactic can greatly reduce or eliminate an onion’s ability to make you cry. the water appears to be discolored or murky. marine mammals. birds. the slow-moving enzymes and sulphur molecules have less momentum when they combine to make the irritating sulphurous molecules. When you chill an onion. determine Mars’ geological conditions and changes. and other organisms.When the algae are present in high concentrations. Refrigerated onions • • • • • • • How does refrigerating onions prevent them from causing tears in our eyes when chopped? When you cut the onion. the enzymes in the onion slow down at a molecular level. They also move much more slowly as they escape the onion walls and often will not reach your eyes or nose. varying in color from purple to almost pink. will travel almost 352 million miles (567 million km) to reach Mars . The gas that is emitted reacts with the water of your eyes and forms sulphuric acid. enzymes start mixing and produce a volatile sulphur compound that starts wafting towards your eyes. either in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water. The sulphuric acid thus produced causes burning sensation in your eyes and this in turn leads to the tear glands secreting more tears. Thus you end up with watery eyes every time you cut onions at home. or 1.Red tide • • a tiny aquatic organism in harmful algal blooms. Curiosity will test the Mars soil only with its own equipment after it lands on the planet in August 2012 but future missions will bring samples back to Earth for more study. Curiosity • • • • • • • • • • • NASA’s program on Mars exploration Launched in 2011 test the soil samples to see if there are signs of life in the history of Mars. This means that when you cut into a cold onion. Curiosity will help pave the way for future manned Mars missions Curiosity also will take video images for the first time and send them back to Earth The rover also will be the first to use nuclear power will enable Curiosity to operate for at least a full Mars year (687 Earth days.

not only for events similar to those in the past. • • Nirmal Rajya • • Sikkim Is India’s the first Nirmal Rajya — 100 per cent open defecation-free state. and endanger astronauts and people in aircraft A solar storm in mid-March 1989 did in fact disrupt power supplies to millions of Canadians for several hours and cut contact with around 1. organisms that cause spoilage thereby . but preparations need to be made.Science Express • • • • • • • • • a train for promoting scientific temper began its fifth journey. over 626 million Indians do not have access to toilets. this time to raise awareness about the country’s unique biodiversity The ‘Science Express — Biodiversity Special (SEBS) Solar storms Solar storms occur when the sun hurls large clouds of electrically charged particles into space and these strike the earth. Children (and adults) living in conditions of poor sanitation are affected in great measure by such faecal bacterial infection leading to enteropathy. tropical enteropathy. recently eruptions were felt. It also leads to inflammation and mal-absorption. and helping the absorption of the digested food into the blood and lymphatic systems. can overload electricity networks causing breakdowns. control of sprouting of items such as potato and onion and control of food-borne diseases. Food Irradiation useful process employed in preservation of food. cause satellites to fail. Mt Tongariro • • • Volcanic Mountain in New Zealand. This is a condition which affects the intestines (hence entero-) by killing or disabling the villi and microvilli covering the surface of the small intestine. Government has initiated the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) or Total Sanitation Campaign. Since then many electricity networks have improved their equipment. And the cause of tropical enteropathy is infection by the bacteria found in faeces.600 satellites. The benefits of whatever the child eats are not being transferred and utilised in the system for growth and development. which would attempt to banish open defecation within a decade. The solar cycle takes around 11 years to complete. the cycle will rise in strength to a peak in 2013. but also for the extreme events that might arise only once in a thousand years. Irradiation destroys or inactivates extending shelf life of certain foods.

• • • One of the reasons for the unpopularity of food irradiation is the mistaken notion that irradiated food is radioactive. However. doesn't affect the moon's color. On average. will be pearly-gray. So. Next Blue Moon will be sighted in 2015. second moon in the same month.and bluish-tinted Moons are sometimes observed just before sunrise or just after sunset when large quantities of dust or smoke particles are concentrated high in the atmosphere. the date of a full moon. otherwise. a blue moon occurs once every 33 months. These radiations do not have sufficient energy to make food radioactive. • • • • Why in news? Because In the month of August 2012. [Science] Mobile Tower Radiation and Steps taken by Government • • • What is Mobile tower radiation Why is it in news? Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on EMF Radiation. as usual and not of blue color. . filtering out the longer wavelengths of colours such as red and yellow. Smoke from forest fires and volcano eruption can cause blue moons. greenish. all by itself. By the way “Blue Moon” is just a term used to describe the second moon. The first full moon was seen on 2 nd August and second full moon was seen on 30 th August 2012. No radioactivity is produced or released during the process. [Science] Blue Moon : Meaning and Occurrence • • • • • • What is Blue Moon? Why Blue Moon? Why in news? What is Blue Moon? Blue moon is the second full moon in appearing in the same month. Why Blue Moon? • • The Moon is not actually blue.

as a precautionary measure. They flood the area for miles around with powerful high frequency radio waves to support the use of cell phones.• • • • • • • • • • Timeline ICNIRP guidelines What is SAR? How and why does Mobile Radiation affect humans? Animals and Mobile Radiation? Steps taken by Environment Ministry What is Mobile tower radiation Mobile phone towers hold antennas and other communications equipment. the Government replied. I’m using the word “allegedly” because our Government said in parliament that mobile tower radiation doesn’t cause health problems. scientific studies as yet have not been able to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship between radio frequency radiation and health. Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on EMF Radiation. Why is it in news? Because an MP asked in parliament “whether radiation emitted from base stations are hazardous?”. The effect of emission from cell phone towers is not known yet with certainty. It suggested stricter SAR limits (1. no adverse short or long term health effects have been shown to occur from the RF signals produced by Mobile tower base stations. The Committee’s findings • • • • • • most of the laboratory studies were unable to find a direct link between exposure to radio frequency radiation from mobile towers and health.6 watt per kg) for mobile handsets. 1885 should be amended so that only mobile handsets satisfying radiation standards (SAR) should be permitted for import / manufacture or sold in the country. EMF=electromagnetic field. the IMC recommended reduction of mobile tower base station emissions to one-tenth of the present limit. • • “From all evidence accumulated so far. Timeline . 2012. However. Indian Telegraph Act. Government had setup this Committee in 2011 to study the hazards of Mobile radiation. This radiation allegedly causes health problem.” But (just to be safe) we’ll bring down the exposure limit of radio frequency fields (mobile tower base station emissions) to one-tenth of the existing level from September 1.

6 watts per kg. it’d increase the production cost for cheap mobile phone manufacturers (Chinese type) because they’ll have to use better quality material to comply to the new SAR limits. pigeon. It is similar to that of cooking in the microwave oven where the water in the food content is heated first. like the brain which consists of about 90% water. Presently. Committee submits report. Government sets up Interministerial Committee on Electric and Magnetic Field (EMF) radiation and its effects on health. and that all the mobile manufacturers gives specific information about SAR on their product packages. so they . if mobile radiation is below xyz level then there is no harm to humans or animals. brains etc human body consists of 70% liquid.2008 DoT has decided to adopt the International Commission on Non-Iodizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)* guidelines in the telcom sector. if mobile radiation doesn’t affect health then why is all the hue and cry by activists and PILs in Highcourts etc. The reason is surface area of a bird which is larger than human body. How and why does Mobile Radiation affect humans? • • • • Human body is itself is electromagnetic (very low around 10 hertz frequency). blood. What is SAR? • • • • • • specific and absorption rate it is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the human body while using a mobile phone) so that radiation does not affect human health. Animals and Mobile Radiation? • • You have ever seen a bee.). DoT made rules to mandate to all mobile phone manufacturers to comply with the specific and absorption rate (SAR)*. they suggest that based on scientific research. So all the Governments across the world should make laws and rules to keep mobile radiation below xyz level. or any bird flying and staying near the cell tower?…. However. By the way. This new SAR limit would not affect the mobile manufacturer because almost all of them already adhere to the US standard. India’s SAR limit is 2 watt per kg The Inter-ministerial Committee wants SAR to be 1.? So. Each of our cell has it’s own electromagnetic field when we exposed to the cellular tower frequency which is very high our body’s EMF (electromagnetic field) disturbed and thus caused very serious types of damages to our cells. 2010 2011 2012 ICNIRP guidelines In short. I think No. sparrow. etc. “Microwave absorption” effect is much more significant by the body parts which contain more fluid (water.

Any new towers do not obstruct the flight path of birds. it promotes growth by increasing the supply or availability of primary nutrients (nitrogen. . use. New towers should not be permitted within a radius of one kilometer of the existing towers. Do not install any towers near zoos or any wildlife protected zones without consulting Forest Dept. or soil. plant surfaces.) to the host plant. [Science] Bio disadvantages Fertilizers & Green Manure: Meaning.absorb more radiation. Phosphorous etc. For GS (Mains) Paper II. Steps taken by Environment Ministry The Ministry of Environment Telecommunications (DoT) : and Forest (MoEF) asked the Department of • • • • • Not to allow new mobile towers to be constructed within a one-kilometer radius of the existing towers. advantages. Put in GIS mapping to help monitor the population of birds and bees or the welfare of animals in protected wildlife areas. • Since fluid content is small due to less weight. it gets heated up very fast and also the magnetic field disturbs their navigational skills. • Biofertilizers • • • Green Manure Examples of BioFertilizers: Pros and Cons • • • • Biofertilizers Examples of Green Manure Pros and Cons of Green Manure? Advantages Disadvantage • • a substance which contains living microorganisms when applied to seed. or increase the combined radiation of all towers in the area.

They have lower manufacturing costs. Azotobacter. Pros and Cons of Green Manure? Advantages • • • soil improvement and soil protection. soybeans for their nitrogen fixing abilities Non-leguminous plants sudangrass. Root systems of many green manure crops to efficiently penetrate compact soils thus increasing the aeration of the soil. especially regarding nitrogen and phosphorus use. replaces chemical nitrogen and phosphorus by 25%. Examples of Green Manure plants Leguminous plants Example Why are they used? Cowpeas. millet. . blue green algae (BGA) Azospirillum Pros and Cons Advantages Disadvantages • • It increases crop yield by 20-30%.Examples of BioFertilizers: • • • • Rhizobium. • environmentally friendly also helps to some extent cleanse the plant from precipitated chemical fertilizers. for weed suppression and addition of biomass to the soil. and buckwheat. a green manure crop is grown for a specific period of time. Green Manure • • • green manure is a type of cover crop grown primarily to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Typically. and then ploughed under and incorporated into the soil while it is green or shortly after flowering. provides forage for pollinating insects. Difficulty to store: they’re sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. and stimulates plant growth. • • • • • Their effects are is slower compared to chemical fertilizer. sorghum. Government of India provides subsidy Subsidy on the purchased of seeds & cost on production of seeds for green manure plants. Bio-fertilizers are cost-effective relative to chemical fertilizers. much lower nutrient density — requires large amounts to get enough for most crops requires a different type of machine to apply than chemical fertilizers sometimes hard to locate/purchase in faraway rural areas • • It can also provide protection against drought and some soil-borne diseases.

Disadvantage • • Leguminous plants require good amount of irrigation. provide habitat for predatory beneficial insects. cytosine and thiamine. [courtsey. thus Less chemical fertilizers are required. Bt-Brinjal.Ritesh's comment] • . This is made possible only because of the so called genes. The “time” factor: you cannot plant the primary marketable crop during green manuring phase. they kill and eat the pests / harmful insects thus less pesticides are required. family characters are coded passed on to you from your parents. Issues A guest article by Manikandan Soundararajan • • • • • • • • • • • What are DNA and Gene? What do we need here? What is the necessity for GM technology? Current issue: Recommendations of the committee: What is this GEAC: Procedure to accord approval: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) What are DNA and Gene? Always a human gives birth to humans. guanine.• • • The deep rooting properties of many green manure crops make them efficient at suppressing weeds They fix nitrogen in soil. and a baby is said to inherit his/her parents’ characters.there are 4 type of nitrogenous base that is adenine . DNA is a polymer of nucleic acid specifically deoxyribonucleic acid which is in turn is comprised of sugar component and nitrogenous base. Cartagena & Nagoya Protocol: Meaning. Genes are the books where all your personal. It is the sequence of theses nitogenous bases that determine our genetic charecter. [Science] Genetically Modified Crops.

like stunted coconut trees giving coconuts at your arms stretch. Such organisms are called TRANSGENICS. while current growth rate is only 2%. every coin has one more side: • • • • • • • Biosafety first concern Direct health effects (toxicity) The stability of the inserted gene Nutritional effect associated with genetic modification Any unintended effects which could result from the gene Insertion..e. understood the ABC of gene make up Here now they are capable of manually rearranging these genes. Autonomy of farmers affected because the seeds of these tech crops are monopolized and are marketed by big private firms. Genetic erosion of our local varieties. i. 27% of world’s undernourished people proudly are our PM remarked on the HUNGAMA report. What do we need here? Scientists have now mapped. analyzed these genes of various plants and animals. 3% increase in agri production needed to ensure food security to this population. Else National shame will be the result. Stress on land resource already huge. pesticides. we have a problem.use of insecticides. deleting one changing the way one behaves. .• • • • • • • • • DNA aids in protein synthesis. If he is unable/does not provide us the requisite seeds. What is the necessity for GM technology? Already a population of 7 billion and growing energetically.Urgent need to feed those hungry mouths. Their expression gives you characters. To address above problems GM aids the development of specific traits in crops like: • • • • • • • Herbicide resistance Pest resistance Viral resistance slow-ripening Fungal and bacterial resistance Quality improvement (protein and oil) Value addition (Vitamins. micro-and macro-elements) Ok then let us move quick into this akshayapaatra Hold on. transformed genetic make-up. inserting a part.

till a stronger regulatory system is established. Farmers of cotton already under strain. GEAC under dept. Current regulation by GEAC (Genetic Engineering appraisal committee) flawed. safety of such crops. farmers complaining introduction such GM cotton. . Here the Bt refers to Bacillus thuringenesis soil bacterium from which the genes are introduced in to the native cotton and brinjal varieties. input costs high. High input cost of seeds. regulation. Especially imported foods are now a concern. pest resistant variety. What is this GEAC: • Established under MoEF. Brinjal(stopped after initial intro) as the cause for increasing farmer suicides in Karnataka.Bt Brijnal Current issue: • • • • In India it all started with Bt cotton and Bt Brinjal. regarding control. Vidharbha region.e. of Biotech which has one of its aims to spread modern biotech. new Bt cotton seeds are expensive. One cannot regulate his own product is the reports’ view. Now the issue with us already with many political parties. genetic erosion of local varieties.. farmer’s dependence on private seed cos are said to be the reasons. marketing production. The gene gave an expression in cotton which produced a protein in the cotton crop that was toxic to the boll worms and stem borers (pests) i. yet farmers are left with zero choice. In this scenario our parliamentary committee on Agriculture has submitted a report on CULTIVATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD CROPS – PROSPECTS AND EFFECTS Recommendations of the committee: • • • • No GM food trials. Strict labeling giving choice for consumers to know what they buy is must.

India is hosting CoP-11 to the CBD to be held in Hyderabad in October 2012. sustainable use of its components. handling and use of LMOs resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. USA is not a party to this Convention. While reaffirming sovereign rights of nations over their natural resources. The GEAC also has the powers to prohibit. documentation and identification of LMOS for Food Feed and Processing etc. the first international regulatory framework for safe transfer. India has acceded to this Biosafety Protocol. handling and use of LMOs(living modified organisms) signed on 2000. International conventions related to this: The committee report passes references to all these conventions. dead whose genes are modified are GMOs but LMO as the name suggests are living organisms which are genetically modified. India signed the CBD and ratified it. open field trials for generation of biosafety data. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) • • CBD is a legally binding agreement adopted during Rio Earth Summit in 1992. liability and redress. • • . The objective of the Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer. this Convention establishes three goals: conservation of biological diversity. several critical issues such as risk assessment. and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. supervise and take punitive action in case of non-compliance. furnishing of wrong information or in case of any damage to the environment. As a Party to the Protocol.. all organisms live. taking also into account risks to human health. GEAC is also responsible for granting approvals relating to release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials. Even though the text of the Protocol has been adopted. are still under discussion. the first and foremost requirement is the setting up of a National Biosafety Regulatory Framework India has introduced the national biosafety rules even before the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted at Rio de Janeiro in 1992. commercialization and market approval Large scale production. which is the year of 20th anniversary of Rio Earth Summit is an added information.• • • GEAC is the apex body to accord approval of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle. • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) • • • The CPB. Difference between LMO and GMO is that GMO is a broader term including LMOs within it. Procedure to accord approval: laboratory and greenhouse experiment. and specifically focusing on trans-boundary movements. revoke.

Western Ghats: What is GIAHS? Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Purpose of GIAHS is to create public awareness.India is a megadiverse country rich in biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. and how benefits arising from the use of such material or knowledge will be shared with locals. The ABS Protocol is expected to address the concerns of biodiversity rich countries such as India relating to misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. implementation of the ABS provisions of CBD is of special interest to us. For Environment and Biodiversity topic in CSAT GS paper. (Preliminary exam) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • What is GIAHS? What is FAO? What are the objectives of GIAHS? Why is it done? How is a GIAHS site chosen? GIAHS Sites in India: Koraput. Japan in October 2010 adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing . Hence. safeguard world agricultural heritage site s. • • EnB] Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Guest article by Mr. The Protocol establishes a clear framework on how researchers and companies can obtain access to genetic resources and to associated traditional knowledge. The objective of Nagoya Protocol is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from utilization of genetic resources. Tamilnadu: Soppina bettas systems.Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) • The CoP-10 to the CBD held in Nagoya. Pampore region Kuttanad What will GIAHS do in Indian Sites? Other Potential sites: Ladakh: Raikas: Korangadu: Catamaran Fishing.Manikandan. . Odisha State Kashmir Valley.

loss of livelihood and economic returns for marginalized and poor. argentina. environment degradation putting food production under stress. Region primarily a tribal district inhabited by khonds. . pulses. srilanka. Illiteracy. combat climate change. Loss of Biodiversity. headquartered at Rome with 191 member nations. have been recognized under GIAHs. poverty. How is a GIAHS site chosen? • • • • The provision of local food security High levels of agricultural biodiversity and associated biological diversity. ecotourism. To document indigenous knowledge. Providing incentives for local population by measures like eco-labeling. Why is it done? • • • Globalization. Shifting cultivation – loss of forest cover = hurting the biodiversity. if under stress or threat of degradation is chosen. eradicate poverty this initiative undertaken. To overcome all these. -A site with all the above characteristics. peru etc. Aims at helping world population get ensured food security. Soil erosion. oilseeds. habitat loss. large family. Various sites across the world from china. millets. sustainable development.major impacts.• • It was started in 2002 by FAO (Food and agricultural organization). increasing population pressure. To conserve and promote these knowledge at global scale to promote food security. Soil degradation. Odisha State • • • • • This region has rich biodiversity. growing several varieties of paddy. What are the objectives of GIAHS? • • • • To understand and appreciate the nature friendly agricultural practices of local and tribal populations around the world. small farm holding size. move towards MDGs. vegetables. eliminate hunger. What is FAO? FAO an intergovernmental organization. bonda tribes practicing poddhu (shifting) cultivation. Now our focus: two sites recognized in India and 6 more recognized as potential sites: GIAHS Sites in India: Koraput. Store of indigenous knowledge and Ingenuity of management systems.

fruit and vegetable crops and pulses . Kuttanad: • • • • Kuttanad is a delta region of about 900 sq. . Provide capacity building training for farmers to increase productivity and marketing practices. commercialization strategies establishing standards. China and the Karakoram Mountains to the north. Establishing sustainable practices amongst the tribals utilizing their knowledge. Farmers of Kuttanad have developed and mastered the spectacular technique of below sea level cultivation over 150 year ago. India. km situated in the west coast of Kerala State. and Indian Kashmir to the west. Problems • • • Loss of productivity due to the lack of agricultural management practices Climate change vulnerabilities. rice. eco labeling. only such system in India. A set of unique low-tillage traditional agricultural practices are carried During the fallow period. fodder and mulberry trees along the farm boundaries (Agro-forestry) is practiced. Kashmir Valley. They made this system unique as it contributes remarkably well to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services including several livelihood services for local communities. Modernization. Documenting the traditional knowledge. water scarcity and weather vagaries Efforts from the younger generation to appreciate and conserve heritage systems absent. rajmah/lentils. Pampore region Saffron Heritage Site of Kashmir in India • • • Grains such as maize. Other Potential sites: Ladakh: • Ladakh is located on the high Tibetan plateau between India and the Himalayan Mountains to the south. growth of fruit. Unique feature: Below sea level rice cultivation site. What will GIAHS do in Indian Sites? • • • • • • Contribute to awareness-raising promote use of modern technologies to conserve the heritage systems. modern technologies. thereby maintaining traditional agrobiodiversity.• The socio-economic indicators are very poor here nearly 84% living in abject poverty.

Western Ghats: . • • Soppina bettas systems. use of natural animal droppings. Raikas: The Raikas are a pastoral caste Camel herding is their heritage. disease and fodder scarcity. use of Phaseolus trilobus. a crop which provides a very nutritious feed. No fertilizer or nutrients. drought conditions need to be provided to preserve this heritage group. Thang Zhing (pasture land). water scarcity have also changed the cultivation patterns. marine biodiversity. apples and walnuts are cultivated in deep valleys. privatization of land Government support. Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu. Modern fishing problems: pollution. The Korangadu pastureland shows people how to live with nature. The leaves and pods of Albizia amara serve as a natural hair conditioner. associated knowledge systems and cultural practices which are endangered and needs international recognition. Innovative fencing mechanism of land by live “mullukiluvai” (Commiphora berryi).• • • • • • • Four types of land are cultivated: Zhing (cultivated land). People of coastal tamilnadu have shown a sustainable way of exploiting the marine resources which is very important as India is the world’s fourth largest fishing nation. Tamilnadu: • • Catamaran. Deficient monsoon. utilizing it and this needs to be preserved. urban consumerism are said to be threatening factors. Korangadu: • • • • • The Korangadu silvo-pastoral system exists in the semiarid tract of the Erode. It thus represents a set of Agricultural Biodiversity of Global Significance (ABGS). Maram. while conserving it . Catamaran Fishing. a thorny drought resistant shrub. Apricots. tube wells haunt the natural heritage of this area.Tree. Decrease in common pasture lands. They live in groups of 4-20 families on the outskirts of villages and combine crop production during the summer rains with pastoralism during the autumn-spring dry season. Rizhing (stony land). The Bay of Bengal waters source of unique resources. Now monocropping. horticulture. propagated. Zhing Zhang (well fertilized land).Two words in Tamil: Kattu-to tie. help to withstand climate change. Also problems of mechanization in this area and 2004 Tsunami effects still threatening the livelihoods of these people. Organic composting is said to be an indigenous technique here Western cultural intrusion. Promoting its uniqueness especially amidst harsh terrains is essential. Droughts. Coimbatore. The Raikas face several threats: Camel herding is no longer profitable. Karur. stress over exploitation.

botanical pesticides. medicine and timber to the communities. fuel wood. Himalayas. Solutions • • • • • • • • • • Three main geological divisions of India. Soppina Bettas provide manure. into four regions: Punjab Himalaya – area between Indus and Sutlej rivers. Assam Himalaya.area between Kali and Tista rivers. fodder.• • • • Western Ghats of Karnataka.16 varieties of rice grown Compost made from foliage and leaf litter (Soppina Bettas) used as fertilizer-local innovation. [Environment] Landslides in Himalayas: Reasons. Kumaon Himalaya – area between Sutlej and Kali rivers Nepal Himalaya.area between Tista and Brahamputra rivers. The existence of this unique self-sustaining system is threatened due to over exploitation. conversion of land and lack of awareness. also known as the Extra-Peninsula Indo-Gangetic Plains Peninsula Classification of Himalayas Method #1 • • • • • Himalayas are classified. from west to east. . Classification of Himalayas Hazards in the Himalayan Eco-System Regions and disasters Landslides: Reasons Landslides: Damage Suggestions to fix problem Three main geological divisions of India.

prominently earthquakes. Central and Eastern Himalaya Nepal Himalaya constitutes the Central Himalaya and the mountainous area to its west and east are known as Western and Eastern Himalaya respectively Hazards in the Himalayan Eco-System • • All major types of disasters.Method#2 • • three regions: the Western. .

The water channels are affected from the up hillside due to which the villagers are devoid of water for irrigation purposes. thereby resulting in loosening of the soil. The terraced farm fields have been destroyed that cannot be easily renovated or made productive again. which create uncertainty regarding the river course and unexpected floods. Suggestions to fix problem . landslides and mudflows • • • • indiscriminate chopping down of trees.’ Road construction and mining. urbanization etc. The road network remains closed for long periods causing indescribable hardship to the villagers who get their basic supplies and provisions from the neighbouring areas. which in turn. Water source is also disrupted due to landslides as they are breached from several places and are choked by the debris. has destroyed the dense natural evergreen forest cover. Such activities have disrupted the ecological balance.• • • • • landslides. causing problems like irregular courses and frequent breaching of the banks. avalanches. landslides in the region kill dozens of people and cause widespread damage to several villages such that they have now become almost unfit for habitation. Every increasing population. This adversely affects agriculture production in the region. They create blockades in the road network and river system. grazing. this leads to soil erosion and frequent landslides Landslides: Damage • • • • • • • Every year. cause floods. flash floods forest fires soil erosion Regions and disasters Altitude Over 3500m 500 to 3500 m Landslides: Reasons Type of disaster snow avalanches and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) flash floods. slash and burn cultivation technique called ‘JHUM. During the heavy rain. The sediment load of rivers has also increased considerably.

Although. recharge the ground water and improve the environment. The scientific name of the Ganga River Dolphin is Platanista Gangetica. Thus the Ganga River Dolphins are perhaps one of the few creatures which face extinction due to the destruction of their habitat instead of being hunted or poached. The Ganga River Dolphin is basically found in the Ganga and Brahmaputra river systems. • • • • • • • • • The River Dolphin is found in the River Ganges. will be more useful than the measures in the lower reaches. Planting of barren areas. By declaring the Ganga River Dolphin as the National Aquatic Animal of India there will be some focus on the plight of these animals. though they might get silted up in a few years. Runoff collection ponds in the catchments. The grasses of industrial importance should also be planted so that there is some economic return to the farmers as well. . All common lands should be put under fuel/fodder trees. Around 1500-2000 River Dolphins are found in the aforementioned two river systems. The Ganga River Dolphin was declared the National Aquatic Animal of India by the National Ganga River Basin Authority which is chaired by the Prime Minister. especially on slopes. Grazing should be completely restricted. In 2009. which will reduce the fury of flash floods. with grass cover is an important component of integrated watershed management programme. these river dolphins are hunted for their oil and sometimes they get stuck in the nets of the fishermen and die. [Biodiversity] National Aqatic Animal This is shared by Varoon Bakshi. better grasses can be planted. The surface vegetative cover will not only protect the land from the beating action of rain drops and bind the soil particles but would also decrease the velocity of flowing water and cause less of soil erosion . After the area is completely protected from grazing.• • • • • • • • Excess water should be stored in the catchments areas. Problems faced by River Dolphins The habitats of the Ganga River Dolphins are shrinking as smaller rivers are drying up and bigger rivers do not have uninterrupted flow of water in various parts. the contributing catchments (even if they are not cultivated but used for grazing or forestry purposes) need to be well managed so that soil erosion is prevented. To prevent rapid siltation of tanks.

Fruit. Every part of the plant viz. root and thorn has been traditionally used as medicine. What are the uses of Seabuckthron? • Has multi-purpose medicinal and nutritional properties. Since this is the only plant that can grow in high altitude regions it can be easily used for water and soil conservation. seabuckthorn is popularly known as • ‘Wonder Plant’. . • • • Ideal plant for desertification control. twig. Found extensively in Jammu & Kashmir. Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. leaf. and therefore. nutritional supplement. besides being useful for soil conservation and nitrogen fixation.[EnB] National Seabuckthorn Initiative • • • • • • • • • • What is Seabuckthorn? What are the uses of Seabuckthron? What is National Seabuckthorn Initiative? What will they do? CSAT 2012 Actual Question Mock Questions for GS Mains (Paper I) Previous Articles under EnB What is Seabuckthorn? Seabuckthorn (Leh berry) is a shrub It grows in the dry temperate and cold desert of the Himalayas. Himachal Pradesh. Uttatrakhand. fuel and fence. Can aid in climate change mitigation and provide livelihoods support thereby reducing pressures on the ecosystem.

Research and Development (R&D) for cultivation and commercial processing in collaboration with China. In 2010. cold desert ecosystems of the country. . What is National Seabuckthorn Initiative? • • • • • India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change It has a key Mission called “Green India Mission” Under this Green India Mission. Russia. Pakistan. Germany etc nations where this plant is found. Eco Task Force Battalions and Women’s Self-help groups will be mobilised for plantation of seabuckthorn in remote areas. Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) and the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have jointly launched a major new national initiative for seabuckthorn cultivation in the high altitude. What will they do? • • Under this initiative. there is a Sub-Mission on Cold Desert Ecosystems This Sub-Mission will include the National Seabuckthorn Initiative.• • • ‘Ladakh Gold’. ‘Golden Bush’ or ‘Gold Mine’.