Essential Facts (Prelims): 11th Feb, 2019


Category: Energy

  • India offered 23 oil and gas and CBM blocks for bidding in the third round of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OLAP) to raise domestic output and cut imports.
  • In OALP-III, 23 blocks in 12 sedimentary basins are being offered. Of these, five are coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks. Total area on offer is about 31,000 square kilometre.
  • OALP-III will run concurrently with OALP-II, where 14 blocks, covering an area of close to 30,000 sq km, is on offer for bidding.
  • In OALP-I, 55 blocks, covering an area of 60,000 sq km, were offered in January 2018.

NE glaciers

Category: Environment

  • More than a third of the glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) mountain range, the “water tower” of Asia, will vanish by the end of this century even if global warming is contained at 1.50 Celsius in the best case scenario.
  • The eastern Himalayas could face a near-total loss of glaciers, around 95%, if global warming goes unchecked.
  • The glaciers in the HKH region, spanning eight countries from Afghanistan to Myanmar, have the biggest store of ice outside the poles.
  • The region, sometimes referred to as the “third pole”, supplies water to nearly 2 billion people.
  • For India, one of the most alarming finding is on the glaciers in east Himalayas that feed northeast India.
  • Eastern Himalaya glaciers have tended to shrink faster than glaciers in central or western Himalaya.
  • On the other hand, the western Himalayas — including J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand — may see an increase in glacier mass because the region, along with the Karakoram, has a higher probability of snowfall.


Category: Social sector

  • Just about 28,500 or 0.1% of households in a clutch of five districts across the country remain unelectrified amid expectation that full electrification will be completed by the month-end, bringing to conclusion an ambitious project to take electricity to all villages.
  • Electrification of all households under PM Saubhagya scheme is a flagship programme of the Modi government, which had advanced the deadline to December
  • The scheme funds the cost of last-mile connectivity to willing households to help achieve the goal of lighting every household by 31 December 2018.
  • A village is declared to be electrified if 10% of the households are given electricity along with public places such as schools, panchayat office, health centres, dispensaries and community centres.