PIB – November 06 , 2019


GS- 3rd Paper

Topic- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Soil and Water Resources Management

Context 

International Conference on Soil and Water Resources Management for Climate Smart Agriculture and Global Food & Livelihood Security begins in New Delhi.

About

International Conference on Soil and Water Resources Management for Climate Smart Agriculture and Global Food and Livelihood Security” is being hosted by The Soil Conservation Society of India (SCSI).

Organisers

The conference is being organized jointly by-

  1. The Soil Conservation Society of India (SCSI),
  2. International Soil Conservation Organization (ISCO),
  3. World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC).

Soil Conservation Society of India (SCSI)

  • Soil Conservation Society of India was born at Hazaribagh. Bihar (now in Jharkhand) in December 1951.
  • at the first National Symposium on Soil Conservation organized by the first multidisciplinary Department of Soil Conservation created by the Damodar Valley Corporation. on the pattern of the TVA-Tennessee Valley Authority (USA).
  • It was registered at Patna, Bihar under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Mandate of SCSI

  • The Society is mandate to the welfare of farmers and all the rural people whose livelihoods are associated with the natural resources.
  • It works for the cause of conservation, development, management and sustainable use of the soil, land, water and associated resources of plants and animals.
  • It is an association of conservationists-scientists, professionals and all those who pledge to work for the wise use of the precious finite and limited soil resources.

Objectives

Following are the objectives of the Society are to promote:

  1. Survey and assessment of natural resources of the country.
  2. Sound technical and latest advanced knowledge of soil and water conservation livestock, Micro flora, Forest and management practices for land degradation, rainwater harvesting, and runoff Including Bio-industrial Watershed Management.
  3. Coordination in implementation of all matters relating to soil and water conservation and Management with reference to ecology and biodiversity among the various agencies.
  4. Development and management of micro water resources as a vital pre-requisite of bio-production. Forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries, land management, rural development, environmental protection and other bio-resources uses and conservation programmes within watersheds.
  5. Judicious and Scientific proper soil and water conservation, development and management in the irrigated and rainfed area.
  6. Soil and Water Conservation and development in the rainfed areas for enhancing land productivity and harnessing rainwater.

WASWAC World Conference IV

  • The World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC), International Soil Conservation Organization (ISCO), and Soil Conservation Society of India (SCSI)) will hold a joint international conference in 2019.
  • This will be WASWAC’s 4th World Conference, ISCO’s 20th International Congress, and SCSI 4th International Conference.
  • SCSI will host the joint conference and other prominent international scientific and professional organizations have been invited to be co-sponsors.
  • Theme“Managing Soil and Water Resources for Climate-Smart Agriculture toward Global Food and Livelihood Security.”
  • The conference will focus on the protection and conservation of land and natural resources for sustainable use and development.

About World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC)

  • WASWAC, as a worldwide academic society, was established in USA in August 1983.
  • The WASWAC secretariat is located at to the International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation (IRTCES) Beijing.
  • The aim of WASWAC– is to promote the wise use of management practices that will improve and safeguard the quality of land and water resources so that they continue to meet the needs of agriculture, society and nature.
  • The vision of WASWAC– is a world in which all soil and water resources are used in a productive, sustainable and ecologically sound manner.

GS- 2nd Paper

Topic- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Brand India for Services Sector

Context

‘Brand India’ will be developed in order to promote the 12 champion services sectors: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways.

About India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF)

  • The ‘India Services brand’ was created by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to represent the services sector of India.
  • The services sector having overtaken agriculture and manufacturing in terms of growth and size is a key driver of global trade and a very valuable source of employment.
  • India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) is a Trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • IBEF has been established as an Investment Promotion Agency for creating the “brand India”.
  • IBEF is registered as the Investment Promotion Agency of India with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA).

Structure and Mandate

  • Set up in 1996, IBEF is fully funded, owned and controlled by Union Government.
  • IBEF’s primary objective – is to promote and create international awareness about the Made in India label in overseas markets and to facilitate dissemination of knowledge of Indian products and services.

Functioning

  • Towards the objective of building a brand name for India in the global markets, IBEF collects, collates and disseminates comprehensive information on India.
  • It has been developed as a single-window resource for in-depth information and insight on India.
  • It also produces a wide range of well researched publications focused on India’s economic and business advantages.
  • It is basically a knowledge centre for global investors, international policy-makers and world media who seek updated, accurate and comprehensive information on the Indian economy, states and sectors.
  • IBEF regularly tracks government announcements in policy, foreign investment, macroeconomic indicators and business trends.
  • IBEF works with a network of stakeholders – domestic and international – to promote Brand India.
  • However, IBEF functions more like a trade promotion body as it is more focused on the trade side rather than on the investment side. As understood, the actual investment advice and consultancy are provided through Invest India.

GS- 3rd Paper

TopicConservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Bioethanol

Context

No separate Environmental Clearance required to produce additional Ethanol from B-heavy molasses: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change

About

Giving further benefits to farmers and sugar industry, the Central Government has declared that no separate environmental clearance is required to produce additional ethanol from B-heavy molasses as it does not contribute to the pollution load.

What is Bioethanol?

  • Bioethanol is the principle fuel used as a petrol substitute for road transport vehicles.
  • Bioethanol fuel is mainly produced by the sugar fermentation process, although it can also be manufactured by the chemical process of reacting ethylene with steam.
  • The main sources of sugar required to produce ethanol come from fuel or energy crops.
  • Ethanol or ethyl alcohol (C2H5OH) is a clear colourless liquid, it is biodegradable, low in toxicity and causes little environmental pollution if spilt.
  • Ethanol burns to produce carbon dioxide and water.
  • Ethanol is a high octane fuel and has replaced lead as an octane enhancer in petrol.
  • By blending ethanol with gasoline we can also oxygenate the fuel mixture so it burns more completely and reduces polluting emissions.

Benefits of Bioethanol

  • Bioethanol has a number of advantages over conventional fuels.
  • It comes from a renewable resource i.e. crops and not from a finite resource and the crops it derives from can grow well in India (like cereals, sugar beet and maize).
  • Another benefit over fossil fuels is the greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The road transport network accounts majorly for of all greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Blending bioethanol with petrol will help extend the life of the India’s diminishing oil supplies and ensure greater fuel security, avoiding heavy reliance on oil producing nations.
  • By encouraging bioethanol’s use, the rural economy would also receive a boost from growing the necessary crops.
  • Bioethanol is also biodegradable and far less toxic that fossil fuels.
  • By using bioethanol in older engines can help reduce the amount of carbon monoxide produced by the vehicle thus improving air quality.
  • Bioethanol is produced using familiar methods, such as fermentation, and it can be distributed using the same petrol forecourts and transportation systems as before.

Government incentives

  • To promote bio-ethanol production available for fuel-blending programme, the Government recently announced incentives for sugar mills producing ethanol from the intermediary B heavy molasses and cane juice.
  • Besides, the diversion of B heavy molasses and cane juice into ethanol production would have helped to maintain sugar production at manageable levels during years when sugarcane yields were high.
  • A significant amount of molasses is expected to be produced from B molasses from the next season onwards
  • Government is encouraging capacity addition, including setting up new distillation capacities.
  • Subsidized loans at around 6 per cent interest rate are available as well as premium rates are paid for ethanol made from B heavy molasses and cane juice.

Challenges ahead

  • Getting environmental clearances for setting up new capacities is taking time and financially stressed sugar companies are finding it difficult to avail of bank loans.
  • The higher prices commanded by ethanol from B-molasses and cane juice may have impact on the availability of extra neutral alcohol required for liquor manufacturing.
  • State Governments reserve molasses for supply for liquor production as it remains an important source of tax revenue.
  • Unless the supply of ethanol can be increased from sources other than sugarcane, its use will not be widespread.