Himalai Celebrating 20th-year celebration, on this eve Himalai extending helping hands to the UPSC-IAS
Most important exam oriented Current Affairs Concepts:
1. The Bali Declaration
According to the declaration, many parts of Asia and the Pacific continue to suffer from high fertility, high infant and maternal mortality rates, rapid urbanization and lack of adequate education and health care. Estimates show our that the population growth in the region Will increase by 900+ million, with the most growth occurring in South Asia and in the region’s least developed countries. Four- fifths of the population growth in the region during the 1990’s will take place in urban areas.
The Bali Declaration proposes a number of goals and policies recommendations for consideration by national policy makers. lt. sets specific targets for countries with rapid population growth to reduce their fertility rates to 2.2 children per woman, to reduce infant mortality rates to 4 0 per 1,000 live births, and to reduce by half maternal deaths.
The Declaration recognizes that rapid population growth, changes in demographic structure and uneven population distribution impose pressures and constraints on social and economic development efforts, the environment and natural resources. Governments are urged to implement programmes which promote greater harmony among population, resources, environment and development.
Issues including urbanization, migration, family planning and maternal and child health, population an human resources development, women and population, poverty alleviation, mortality and morbidity, aging, population data, research and information dissemination and resource mobilization are also addressed in the Declaration.Measures to improve the status, role and participation of women, the Declaration states must be given high priority, because “women have a fundamental right to enjoy equality with men in all aspects of life and because women play a critical role in, and must fully participate in, the sustainable development process.”
2. Lakshadweep atolls and lagoons
1. Bangaram Island, the largest island in the atoll, with a land surface of 0.623 km2 (0.241 sq mi) is located at 10.94°N 72.286°E. There is a long brackish pond in the center of the island fringed by screwpine and coconut palms.
2. South Bangaram Cay, the smallest island in the atoll, with a land surface of 0.001 km2 (0.00039 sq mi) is located at 10.933°N 72.278°E. It is a small sand cay.
3. Thinnakara, another large island in the atoll, has a land surface of 0.522 km2 (0.202 sq mi). It is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) East-Northeast of Bangaram island, at the edge of the lagoon basin 10.945°N 72.315°E.
4. Parali 1, Parali 2 and Parali 3 are three small islets at the eastern fringe of the reef 10.955°N 72.33°E. The Islets have a total land surface of 0.089 km2 (0.034 sq m).
3. Atoll and Lagoon
An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef, island, or series of islets. An atoll surrounds a body of water called a lagoon. Sometimes, atolls and lagoons protect a central island. Channels between islets connect a lagoon to the open ocean or sea.Atolls develop with underwater volcanoes, called seamounts. First, the volcano erupts, piling up lava on the seafloor. As the volcano continues to erupt, the seamount’s elevation grows higher, eventually breaking the surface of the water. The top of the volcano becomes an oceanic island.
In the next stage, tiny sea animals called corals begin to build a reef around the island. The type of corals that build reefs are called hermatypic corals, or hard corals. Hermatypic corals create a hard exoskeleton of limestone (calcium carbonate). Billions of these limestone exoskeletons are the reef.This coral reef, called a fringing reef, surrounds the island just below the ocean surface. The thin, shallow strip of water between the fringing reef and the island is the lagoon.
Over millions of years, the volcanic island erodes and sinks to the seafloor. This process is called subsidence. The seamount erodes into the sea, its top made flat by the constant pounding of powerful ocean waves. As it subsides, the flat-topped seamount is called a guyot.As the island subsides to become a guyot, its ring-shaped fringing reef turns into a barrier reef. A barrier reef is further from shore, and has a deeper lagoon. The barrier reef protects the lagoon from the harsh winds and waves of the open ocean.
Subsidence brings slight differences in ocean chemistry that change the reef radically. The outer, ocean-facing side of the reef remains a healthy marine ecosystem. Corals on the inner, lagoon-facing side, however, begin to slowly decay. The algae that corals need to survive face much more competition for fewer nutrient resources. The limestone decays, changing the color of the lagoon from deep ocean blue to bright teal.
In the final stage of an atoll’s formation, ocean waves break apart pieces of the limestone reef. They pound, break, and erode the coral into tiny grains of sand. This sand and other material deposited by waves or wind pile up on the reef. This material, including organic matter such as plant seeds, form a ring-shaped island or islets. This is an atoll.Hermatypic corals only live in warm water. An island that is located where ocean temperatures are just warm enough to support hermatypic corals is said to be at the “Darwin point,” named after Charles Darwin.
Hyperloop is a new form of ground transport currently in development by a number of companies, which could see passengers travelling at 700 miles an hour in floating pods within low-pressure tubes.There are two big differences between Hyperloop and tradition rail. The pods carrying passengers travel through tubes or tunnels from which most of the air has been removed to reduce friction. This should allow the pods to travel at up to 750 miles per hour.
Rather than using wheels like a train or car, the pods are designed to float on air skis, using the same basic idea as an air hockey table, or use magnetic levitation to reduce friction. A number of different companies are working to turn the idea into a functioning commercial system.Supporters argue that Hyperloop could be cheaper and faster than trains and car travel, and cheaper and less polluting than air travel. They claim that it is quicker and cheaper to build than traditional high-speed rail; as such, Hyperloop could take the pressure off gridlocked roads, making travel between cities easier and potentially unlocking major economic benefits as a result.
Under India’s commitment to achieving 30-35% reduced carbon emissions, the country has recognized energy efficiency as a key mitigation strategy. Therefore, the government is committed to executing schemes like UJALA. State governments are voluntarily adopting this scheme and the scheme is already present in over 13 states. EESL would be starting distribution in more states within a month.
The UJALA scheme has played a significant role in creating awareness about energy efficient lighting. In 2014-15, the total number of LED bulbs that were distributed was mere 30 lakhs. The number of LED bulbs distributed in 2015-16 has crossed 15 crore, where 9 crore LED bulbs were distributed under UJALA and the remaining were contributed by the industry. For this year, the Government of India is confident of distributing an additional 20 crore LED bulbs. Sustained efforts under UJALA, coupled with industry support, will help the government achieve its objective of replacing 77 crore inefficient bulbs by March 2019.
Efficient domestic lighting is one of the largest contributors to energy savings globally and the distribution of 10 crore LED bulbs in India has led to savings of over 1,298 crore kWh annually. This number has also helped the country avoid capacity of about 2,600 MW. Most importantly, the country has benefitted from reduction of CO2 emission by over 1 crore tonnes annually.LED bulbs consume half the energy as that of CFLs and one tenth as that of incandescent bulbs. UJALA is the largest non-subsidised LED programme in the world. The programme has led to significant savings to the consumers who are using these bulbs.