PIB – September 9 , 2019


GS- 2nd Paper

Topic covered– Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

UNCCD COP 14

Context

14th Conference of Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 14) is being held in New Delhi.

About COP14

  • The 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is being held in Greater Noida.
  • India is presiding COP for the next two years until the next COP is hosted in 2021.
  • An estimated 7,200 participants that include ministers and representatives of governments, non-government and intergovernmental organizations, scientists, women and youth from the 197 Parties are expected.
  • One of the primary functions of COP-14 is to review reports submitted by Conference of Parties to convention and detailing how they are carrying out their commitments.

Significance

  • It is essential to establish a responsible land governance to provide an enabling environment for ecosystem restoration and biodiversity protection.
  • Responsible land governance is also a key to land use-based adaptation and for improving the livelihoods of many small-scale farmers.
  • At the UNCCD COP 14, there is an opportunity to adopt an ambitious resolution on land tenure for Land Degradation Neutrality.
  • Parties to the convention must use this opportunity to empower communities to better adapt to the impacts of the climate emergency.

About UNCCD

  • The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is an international agreement on good land stewardship.
  • It helps people, communities and countries to create wealth, grow economies and secure enough food and water and energy, by ensuring land users have an enabling environment for sustainable land management.
  • It was established in 1994.
  • UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
  • The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
  • The Convention’s 197 Parties set up robust systems to manage drought promptly and effectively.
  • It works together to improve the living conditions for people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought.
  • The UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.
  • The permanent Secretariat of the UNCCD is located in Bonn, Germany since January 1999.
  • It was established during the first Conference of the parties (COP 1) held in Rome in 1997.

Bonn Challenge

  • The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • It was launched in 2011 by the Government of Germany and IUCN, and later endorsed and extended by the New York Declaration on Forests at the 2014 UN Climate Summit.
  • At COP-13 (2015) in Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge and had committed towards restoring 13 million hectares (MH) of degraded and deforested land by year 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares (MH) by 2030.
  • India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.

India and UNCCD

  • Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched a flagship project which is a part of a larger international initiative called ‘Bonn Challenge’.
  • The project is aimed at enhancing India’s capacity for Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR).
  • During the pilot phase of project (initial 3.5 years), it will be implemented in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka.
  • Initially, the project will be aimed at developing and adapting best practices and monitoring protocols for country, and building capacity within 5 pilot States.
  • The project will be implemented by MoEFCC in partnership with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

GS- 3rd Paper

Topics Covered Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP)

Context

Prime Minister shall be launching the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in the livestock.

About NADCP

  • The National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis is a new Central Sector Scheme.
  • It is a 100% centrally funded programme, with a total outlay of Rs. 13,343.00 crore from 2019 to 2024.
  • It aims to control Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis by 2025 with vaccination and eventual eradication by 2030.

It has the following components-

Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) control programme

  • The programme envisages 100% vaccination coverage of cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs at six months interval in the entire country.
  • Further, animals will be identified using unique animal identification ear tags.
  • The programme also includes de-worming of the targeted population of livestock twice a year as one of its activities.

Brucellosis control programme

  • The programme envisages 100% vaccination coverage of female cattle and buffalo calves (4-8 months of age) once in a lifetime.
  • The total cost of the Scheme has been proposed at Rs.13,343.00 crore for five years (2019-24) and the proposed allocation for the Financial Year 2019-20 is Rs2,683.00 crore.

About Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)

  • It is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease.
  • It affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids.
  • FMD is not recognised as a zoonotic disease.

Symptoms

  • The virus causes a high fever for two or three days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.
  • Other frequent symptoms are depression, hypersalivation, loss of appetite, weight loss, growth retardation and a drop in milk production, which can persist even after recovery.
  • The virus responsiblefor the disease is a picornavirus, the prototypic member of the genus Aphthovirus.

Concerns

  • Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has severe implications for animal farming.
  • It is highly infectious and can be spread by infected animals through aerosols, through contact with contaminated farming equipment, vehicles, clothing, or feed, and by domestic and wild predators.

Effect on Humans

  • Humans can be infected with foot-and-mouth disease through contact with infected animals.
  • The virus that causes FMD is sensitive to stomach acid, it cannot spread to humans via consumption of infected meat, except in the mouth before the meat is swallowed.
  • Symptoms of FMD in humans include malaise, fever, vomiting, red ulcerative lesions (surface-eroding damaged spots) of the oral tissues, and sometimes vesicular lesions (small blisters) of the skin.

GS-2nd Paper

Topic covered– Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall launch the Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana on the 12th of September at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Salient features of PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

  • The Scheme shall secure the lives of 5 Crore Small and Marginal Farmers by providing a minimum pension of Rs 3000 per month to those who attain 60 years of age.
  • The scheme has an outlay of Rs 10,774 Crores for the next three years.
  • All the small and marginal farmers who are currently between the ages of 18 to 40 years can apply for the scheme.
  • The farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach the retirement date i.e. the age of 60 years.
  • The Central Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.
  • The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.

Family Pension

  • During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension.
  • Family pension is applicable only to spouse.
  • In case of death of the farmer before retirement date, the spouse may continue in the scheme by paying the remaining contributions till the remaining age of the deceased farmer.
  • If the spouse does not wish to continue, the total contribution made by the farmer along with interest will be paid to the spouse.
  • If there is no spouse, then total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee.
  • After the death of both the farmer and the spouse, the accumulated corpus shall be credited back to the Pension Fund.
  • The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions.
  • The farmers, who are also beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Scheme, will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that Scheme directly.

Enrolment Process under PM-SYM

  • The subscriber will be required to have a mobile phone, savings bank account and Aadhaar number.
  • The eligible subscriber may visit the nearest CSCs and get enrolled for PM-SYM using Aadhaar number and savings bank account/ Jan-Dhan account number on self-certification basis.
  • Enrollment agencies: The enrolment will be carried out by all the Community Service Centers (CSCs).
  • Facilitation Centres:All the branch offices of LIC, the offices of ESIC/EPFO and all Labour offices of Central and State Governments will facilitate the unorganised workers about the Scheme, its benefits and the procedure to be followed, at their respective centers.

Significance of the scheme

  • The PM – SYM is a crucial scheme to provide social securityto vulnerables.
  • It will in effect provide wage protection, job security, social security to the workers and ultimately alleviate the hardships they face.
  • Eventually it will boost the overall economic growth of the country.

GS- 3rd Paper

Topic covered– Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Crop Residue Management

Context

National Conference on Crop Residue Management for the farmers

In Situ Crop Residue Management

The Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of agricultural mechanization for In-Situ management of crop residue in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and National capital territory of Delhi’ has been launched.

Objective of the Schemes

  • To reduce the air pollution and preventing loss of nutrients and soil microorganisms caused by burning of crop residue.
  • To promote in-situ management of crop residue through the use of appropriate mechanization inputs.
  • To promote Farm Machinery Banks (FMB) for custom hiring of in-situ crop residue management machinery.
  • Creating awareness among stakeholders through demonstration of crop residue management methods and capacity building activities.
  • To educate for effective utilization and management of crop residue.

Key Features of Scheme

  • Under this scheme, the proceeds from central fund will be used to establish Farm Machinery Banks (FMBs) for Custom Hiring of in-situ crop residue management machinery.
  • Government will provide 80% financial assistance of project cost to cooperative societies of farmers, FPOs, SHGs, registered farmers societies or farmers groups, private entrepreneurs and group of women farmers.
  • It will also provide 50% financial assistance to farmers for procurement of agriculture machinery and equipment for in-situ crop residue management.
  • Beneficiaries will be identified and selected for establishment of Farm Machinery Bank for Custom Hiring and procurement of machines on individual ownership basis by state nodal department/DLEC.
  • The central fund will also be used to create awareness among farmers about in-situ management of crop residue.

Significance

  • Stubble burning releases particulate matter, CO, CO2, ash and SO2 and these gases affect human health due to general degradation in air quality resulting in aggravation of eye and skin diseases.
  • Stubble burning results not only into loss of nutrients from soil but also alters soil properties like soil temperature, pH, moisture, available phosphorus and soil organic matter.