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Prelim Bits 11-08-2021 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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August 11, 2021

Doctor to Population Ratio

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended 1:1000 as the doctor to population ratio.
  • Currently, the doctor-population ratio in India is 1:1456. But, India is on the path to achieve the WHO-recommended ratio by 2024, and is increasing the number of beds from 11 lakh to 22 lakhs.
  • Ayushman Bharat Yojna and Jan Arogya Yojna are the programmes that focus on providing all kinds of health facilities to people.

IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report

Recently, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the 6th Assessment Report.

  • This report said that the 1.5 degree Celsius warming was inevitable even in the best case scenario, and has been shown to be closer than thought.
  • This is the first time that the IPCC is saying that the rise in global temperatures was a direct result of human activities.
  • The most ambitious emission pathways would lead to the 1.5 degree C warming be achieved in the 2030s, overshoot to 1.6 degree C, before the temperatures drop back again to 1.4 degree C by the end of the century.
  • Net-zero targets - For India, the report would make a case by increasing the pressure to agree to a net-zero target.
    • A net-zero target is a deadline by which it should be able to bring down its emissions to a level that equals the absorptions made by its carbon sinks.
  • Immediate emission cuts and a steady pathway to net-zero is expected to bring better benefits than a business-as-usual scenario and a sudden drop in emissions towards the end to meet the target.
  • Even the countries that have pledged a net-zero target, the substantial part of their emission cuts is planned only for 2035 and beyond. They will be put under pressure to reconsider their pathways.
  • NDCs - The IPCC report could also lead to renewed demands that all countries update their climate action plans called nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement.
  • Every country has submitted an NDC by listing the climate actions they would take by 2025 or 2030 - To be updated every 5 years from 2025.
  • 110 countries have updated their NDCs, but not China, India or South Africa.

Impacts

  • The impacts projected at 2°C of warming would be present at 1.5°C as well, and are being witnessed even now.
    1. Every additional half degree of warming will increase the intensity and frequency of hot extremes, heavy precipitation and drought.
    2. At 2 degree C of global warming, heat extremes would reach critical tolerance thresholds for agriculture and human health.
    3. For each additional degree C of global warming, extreme daily rainfall events would intensify by about 7%.
  • The 6th Assessment Report suggested that the results of emission reductions might begin to show over time scales of 10 to 20 years.

Compound Events

It is a new element of discussion in the sixth Assessment report.

  • It is defined as two or more climate change-induced events happening back to back, triggering each other, or occurring simultaneously.
    • Example - Glacial lake bursts, a familiar occurrence in the Himalayan region, accompanied with heavy rainfall and flooding.
  • If occurring together, they feed into each other, aggravating each other’s impacts.
  • If occurring one after the other, they give little time for communities to recover, thus making them much more vulnerable.

Wildfires

A massive wildfire continues to burn on the northern tip of Greece’s second-largest island called Evia, which is close to the mainland.

  • Wildfires or forest fires (or bushfires in Australia) are unplanned fires that burn through natural areas such as forests, grasslands or prairies.
  • They occur during hot and dry seasons, as dry leaves, shrubs, grass and deadwood are easily combustible and easily ignite.
    • Ignition can either happen naturally, such as through lightning strikes, or triggered accidentally or intentionally.
  • Such fires typically come to an end when there is no more vegetation to burn or because of rain.
  • Impacts - As the fires burn through vegetation or forests, smoke and carbon are released into the atmosphere.
  • But the fires also release nutrients into the soil and are an important part of ecological succession, plant germination, and soil enhancement.
  • Factors - The size of a wildfire depends on the amount of vegetation available and also the strength and direction of the wind.
  • Some of the other factors that influence the wildfires are weather events such as frequent heatwaves, extreme rainfalls and rising sea levels.
  • Similar to Wildfires, click here to know about Zombie Fires.

Definition of Minority

  • The Central Government notifies minority communities at the national level under the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992.
  • The term "minority" is not defined in the Indian Constitution. However, the Constitution recognises religious and linguistic minorities.

Religious Minorities

  • Six communities notified as minorities under the Section 2 (c) of NCM Act are Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains.
  • Notification of any community specific to a State as minority community within a State comes under the purview of the State concerned.
  • Article 25 (1) - People’s freedom of conscience and right to freely profess, practise and propagate religion.
  • Article 26 - Right of every religion or any section to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes, manage its own religious affairs, and own, acquire and administer property.
  • Article 28 - People’s freedom to attend religious instruction or religious worship in educational institutions.

Linguistic Minorities

  • As per the Commissioner for linguistic minorities, Linguistic Minorities are group of people residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language or script of their own.
  • The language of the minority group need not be one of the 22 languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • In other words, linguistic minorities,
    • At the State level mean any group of people whose mother tongues are different from the principal language of the State, and
    • At the district and taluka/tehsil levels, different from the principal language of the district or taluka/tehsil concerned.
  • Linguistic minorities are identified by the respective States/UTs.
  • Article 350-B inserted by the 7th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1956 to provide for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities appointed by the President of India.
  • This Special Officer would investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under the Constitution.

Common Provisions

  • Article 29 - Right of any section of the citizens residing in India with a distinct language, script or culture of its own to conserve it.
  • It grants protection to both religious minorities as well as linguistic minorities.
  • Also, the Supreme Court held that the scope of this article includes minorities as well as the majority, as the word ‘section of citizens’ is used.
  • Article 30 - All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
  • The protection under Article 30 is confined only to minorities and does not extend to any section of citizens (as under Article 29).

 

Source: PIB, The Indian Express, Business Line, Science Direct, Deccan Herald

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