Current Affairs Nov 26 , 2021

Way to climate justice

  • India’s pledge to reach ‘net zero’ emissions by 2070
  • At COP26 in Glasgow (October 31-November 12, 2021), India successfully challenged the 40-year old frame of global climate policy that pointed a finger at developing countries with the alternate frame of ‘climate justice’, that unsustainable lifestyles and wasteful consumption patterns are to blame.
  • The subject of oil was not touched, even as automobile emissions are the fastest growing emissions, because it is a defining feature of western civilization.
  • Coal is the most abundant energy source, essential for base load in electrification, and the production of steel and cement. Its use declines after the saturation level of infrastructure is reached.
  • The irony of the host country pushing other nations to stop using coal an energy resource which powered its own Industrial Revolution was not lost on the poor countries who called out “carbon colonialism”.
  • That India and China working together forced the G7 to make a retraction has signalled the coming of a world order in which the G7 no longer sets the rules.
  • India is urbanizing as it is industrializing, moving directly to electrification, renewable energy and electric vehicles, and a digital economy instead of a focus on the internal combustion engine.
  • Most of the infrastructure required has still to be built and automobiles are yet to be bought.

Steps needed

  • Climate change has to be addressed by the West by reducing consumption, not just greening it.
  • For India, in parallel with the infrastructure and clean technology thrust, the focus on a decent living standard leads to behavioral change in the end-use service, such as mobility, shelter and nutrition for change modifying wasteful trends.
  • First, consumption patterns need to be ‘shifted away from resource and carbon-intensive goods and services, e.g. mobility from cars and aircraft to buses and trains, and nutrition from animal and processed food to a seasonal plant-based diet’.
  • Second, along with’ reducing demand, resource and carbon intensity of consumption has to decrease, e.g. expanding renewable energy, electrifying cars and public transport and increasing energy and material efficiency’
  • Third, equally important, will be achieving a’ more equal distribution of wealth with a minimum level of prosperity and affordable energy use for all’, e.g., housing and doing away with biomass for cooking.
  • It can’t be ignored
  • It is becoming difficult for the West to use international trade that is shifting manufacturing and the burden of emissions to developing countries with the rise of a digital economy.
  • And increasing inequality and a rise of protectionism and trade barriers imposing new standards need to be anticipated.
  • This knowledge is essential for national policy as well as the next round of climate negotiations.
  • After the Stockholm Declaration on the Global Environment, the Constitution was amended in 1976 to include Protection and Improvement of Environment as a fundamental duty.
  • Under Article 253, Parliament has the power to make laws for implementing international treaties and agreements and can legislate on the preservation of the natural environment.
  • Parliament used Article 253 to enact the Environment Protection Act to implement the decisions reached at the Stockholm Conference.


Cryptocurrency vs Fiat currency

  • Cryptocurrency is another such asset that allows people to invest outside the traditional financial system.
  • It is not regulated and its value fluctuates, probably more than gold. But as we have seen over the pandemic, it has offered phenomenal returns, much more than gold has been able to offer
  • The primary advantage of cryptocurrencies is the mathematically designed blockchain network with finite supply.
  • The primary problem with the current monetary set-up is that when the government starts printing more money, the value of your money gets wiped out due to high inflation
  • Blockchain technology itself has great potential to reform financial record-keeping and keeping track of asset transactions.
  • what gives cryptocurrencies as assets an advantage over cash or fiat money is the fact that they exist outside the purview of the government
  • Right now there are more than 20,000 businesses that are accepting Bitcoin. People can buy a bunch of digital products using Bitcoin.
  • The reason why Bitcoin became prominent was that the value of fiat currencies was being eroded systematically.
  • Right from 2008, due to quantitative easing, money supply was increasing and every time the government turned on the money-printing machine, the value of the money that you saved went down.
  • If you’re defining cryptocurrencies as an asset class, then they are competing against something like gold, not against fiat money
  • If India decides to ban Ethereum, we would have essentially said no to the entire decentralized finance system, because no other developers will come and build a blockchain network for you.
  • Private currencies could have a beneficial effect in disciplining the central bank
  • One of the beneficial effects of competing currencies is the disciplining effect it has on the central bank or on fiat money.
  • If Governments increase the money supply as per will, people will then always have the option to shift to other payment instruments.


INS vela

  • The fourth Scorpene class conventional submarine, INS Vela, was commissioned into the Navy
  • Vela is named after a type of Indian fish belonging to the stingray family, and the crest depicts the fish swimming across the blue seas.
  • The submarine’s mascot is the Sub-ray which is an amalgamation of the submarine and the stingray which symbolizes the metamorphosis of the submarine’s character with the qualities of a stingray.
  • The new INS Vela carries forward the legacy of its namesake, the erstwhile Vela which was commissioned on August 31, 1973 as the lead boat of Vela class submarines and was decommissioned on January 25, 2010.

Navy’s Project-75

  • Six Scorpene submarines are being built under Project-75 by Mazagaon Dock Ltd. (MDL), Mumbai, under technology transfer from Naval Group of France under a $3.75-bn deal signed in October 2005.
  • The first submarine INS Kalvari was commissioned in December 2017, second submarine INS Khanderi in September 2019 and third one INS Karanj in March 2021.
  • The fifth submarine, Vagir, was launched in November 2020 and is undergoing sea trials while the sixth one Vagsheer is in advanced stage of outfitting.
  • The Navy has drawn up plans to install Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) modules on all Scorpene submarines as they go for their refit beginning with INS Kulvari in 2023 to enhance their endurance
  • Air-independent propulsion (AIP), or air-independent power, is any marine propulsion technology that allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen (by surfacing or using a snorkel). … AIP can be retrofitted into existing submarine hulls by inserting an additional hull section.



  • The fifth edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has confirmed signs of a demographic shift in India.
  • For the first time since the NFHS began in 1992, the proportion of women exceeded men: there were 1,020 women for 1,000 men. In the last edition of the survey in 2015-16, there were 991 women for every 1,000 men.
  • Sex ratio at birth for children born in the past five years only improved from 919 per 1,000 males in 2015-16 to 929 per 1,000, underscoring that boys, on average, continued to have better odds of survival than girls.
  • Most Indian States and Union Territories (UTs) had more women than men, the NFHS-5 shows.
  • The States that had fewer women than men included Gujarat, Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab and Union Territories such as Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Ladakh.
  • A State-wise breakup of the NFHS data also show that India is on its way to stabilising its population, with most States and UTs having a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of less than two.
  • A TFR of less than 2.1, or a woman on average bearing two children over a lifetime, suggests that an existing generation of a people will be exactly replaced
  • Only six States Bihar, Meghalaya, Manipur, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have a TFR above two. Bihar has a TFR of three
  • India is still poised to be the most populous country in the world, with the current projection by the United Nations population division forecasting that India’s population will peak at 1.6 billion to 1.8 billion from 2040 to 2050.
  • A notable exception is Kerala, a State with among the highest ratios of women to men at 1,121 and improvement over 1,049 recorded in the NFHS-4. However, the TFR in Kerala has increased to 1.8 from 1.6.