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Prelim Bits 10-08-2021 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 10, 2021

IPCC’s Assessment Report

  • The Geneva-based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release the 1st part of its Sixth Assessment Report.
  • This report presents the latest scientific understanding of the climate system, how and why is it changing, the impact of human activities on this process.and the actions required to prevent the worst impacts.
  • IPCC’s Assessment Reports are the periodic status check, which has become the most widely accepted scientific view of the state of Earth’s climate.
  • The five previous assessment reports that have come out since the IPCC was established in 1988 have formed the basis of international climate change negotiations, and the actions taken by the governments.
  • Significance - IPCC assessment reports have been extremely influential in directing the dialogue and action on climate change.
    1. First Assessment Report - Led to the setting up of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
    2. Second Assessment Report - Basis for 1997 Kyoto Protocol that ran till last year.
    3. Fifth Assessment Report - Guided the Paris Agreement, which replaced the Kyoto Protocol from this year.

IPCC Assessment Reports

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) - Accidental Death Insurance

The enrolments under PMSBY have gradually increased since its launch in 2015 with cumulative enrolments of 23.88 crore.

  • PMSBY is a Finance Ministry’s accident insurance scheme that provides insurance cover to people, especially poor and the under-privileged sections of the society.
  • Eligibility - Age group 18 to 70 years with bank account.
  • Premium - Rs.12/annum will be auto-debited from the subscribers' bank account before 1st June of each annual coverage period.
  • Risk Coverage
    1. Accidental Death of insured person - Rs 2 Lakh
    2. Total irrecoverable loss of both eyes or loss of use of both hands or feet - Rs 2 Lakh (Full Disability)
    3. Total irrecoverable loss of sight of one eye or loss of use of one hand or foot - Rs.1 Lakh (Partial Disability)
  • Terms of Risk Coverage - A person has to opt for the scheme every year. S/he can also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing in which case his/her account will be auto-debited every year by the bank.
  • Implementation - The scheme will be offered by all Public Sector General Insurance Companies and all other insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.

Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) - Life Insurance Cover

  • It is Finance Ministry’s scheme for Life Insurance Cover.
  • Eligibility - Available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 and having a bank account.
  • People who join the scheme before completing 50 years can continue to have the risk of life cover up to the age of 55 years subject to payment of premium.
  • Premium - Rs.330 per annum will be auto-debited in one instalment.
  • The payment of premium will be directly auto-debited by the bank from the subscribers account.
  • Risk Coverage - Rs.2 Lakh in case of death for any reason.
  • Terms of Risk Coverage - A person has to opt for the scheme every year.  He can also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing, in which case his account will be auto-debited every year by the bank.
  • Implementation - The scheme will be offered by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and all other life insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.

Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme

  • This scheme is a voluntary scheme for resolving pending direct tax disputes amicably with the taxpayers in various appellate forums i.e. Commissioner (Appeals), ITAT, High Court and Supreme Court.
    • This scheme is modelled on the lines of Sabka Vishwas Scheme, which closed numerous litigations in indirect tax demands.
  • The entities who opt for the scheme have to pay a requisite tax following which all litigation against them are closed by the tax department and penal proceedings dropped.
  • A taxpayer would be required to pay only the amount of the disputed taxes and will get a complete waiver of interest and penalty provided he pays by 31st March 2020.
  • Those who avail this scheme after this date will have to pay extra.
  • The scheme also applies to all case appeals that are pending at any level.

National Policy on Bio-fuels 2018

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy envisages the creation of a National Biomass Repository through its National Policy on Bio-Fuels 2018.

  • This would be done by conducting appraisal of biomass across the Country.
  • The policy is aimed at taking forward the indicative target of achieving 20% blending of biofuels with fossil-based fuels by 2030.
    1. Target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and
    2. Target of 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel.
  • [The percentage of the same currently stands at around 2% for petrol and less than 0.1% for diesel.]
  • It categorises biofuels as following to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category,
    1. Basic Biofuels - First Generation (1G) bio-ethanol & biodiesel
    2. Advanced Biofuels - Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc.
  • The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of the following for ethanol production,
    1. Sugar-containing materials like B grade molasses, sugarcane juice, sugar beet, sweet sorghum,
    2. Starch-containing materials like corn, cassava,
    3. Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, rotten potatoes, unfit for human consumption.
  • The Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
  • One of the expected benefits is that the Used Cooking Oil can be used as potential feedstock for biodiesel and its use for making biodiesel will prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, The Indian Express

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