Vehicle scrappage programs serve multiple purposes like reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, pressure on mines, etc. However, it is also a key tool for economic revival as it has a direct bearing on the automobile sector– a critical determinant of economic growth. Many countries used it in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to aid their recovery. Recently, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released the draft Vehicle Scrappage Policy. This could serve as a much needed leg up for the Indian auto industry and post-COVID economy.
In the past few weeks, several parts of the world have been witnessing unusually extreme winter weather. It has been snowing in regions like the Texas state, Mexico, Mediterranean Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan, that haven’t seen snowfall in decades at this time of the year. Several regions experienced record low temperatures which disrupted the power grid, water supply lines and also businesses- especially at a time when the global economy is slowly staggering back to its legs. This unusual condition is being attributed to a phenomenon called the ‘polar vortex outbreak’.
With the frequent addition of new names to the list of wetlands in India, the concern for wetlands is increasing simultaneously all over the world. Climate activists and climate organizations raise their voices from time immemorial to protect wetlands. Wetlands prove to be a playing a very important part in maintaining the ecological balance in the environment. They harbor several plant and animal species and help in their prevention from extinction. They are also useful for human beings as they prevent floods and serve as a great source for recycling organic waste. Given the importance of wetlands, it has become important for us to look into various issues involved in wetland conservation and suggest measures to protect them.
February 7th, 2021 saw the flooding of the Alaknanda River system, claiming the lives of over 60 people. Many others have gone missing and 2 hydroelectric power projects have been washed away. Though the exact cause of the flood is still being looked into, one of the possible causes is a phenomenon called glacier lake outburst flooding (GLOF). Though the region has experienced GLOFs in the past, this recent event is a cause for concern as it has occurred even before the end of winter– a period that is generally considered safe in terms of GLOF risks.
The aviation sector in India has witnessed growth faster than many other industries in India. From the number of flights flying in India to the number of passengers boarding flights in India, India reported exponential growth in this sector. India has become the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world. Although the aviation market is showing promising results, the rise in the number of accidents has also risen gradually. The recent air accident in Kerala of Boeing 737, killing 18 people and leaving more than 150 people injured has been a major setback for the aviation sector in India. Thus, it has become important to understand the various factors affecting air safety in India and suggest measures to deal with the problem.
In the past few days, fire accidents have ravaged many places in India. In Maharashtra, a number of babies died in a hospital accident. Similarly, a massive fire broke out in the Serum Institute of India. A major fire accident took place in West Bengal devastating the nearby slum areas in North Kolkata. Fire mishaps have become a common phenomenon nowadays. With a growing population, urbanization, and congestion, there is an urgent need for ensuring the safety of man and material. Fire accidents have been creating a huge loss to the property and manpower of the nation. Hence, there is a need to prevent such disasters from taking place and surveying the actual causes which lead to these accidents.
Since August 2018, when Greta Thunberg initiated a protest in front of the Swedish Parliament, there have been hundreds of similar “climate strikes” across the world. This, along with extreme weather conditions like unpredictable monsoons, extended droughts and frequent cyclones are doing little to make the global leaders undertake measures to address this issue. At the UNFCCC’s 25th COP that was held in Madrid last year, global leaders were unable to move forward to fulfil the commitments they made in the 2016 Paris Agreement. Although India has been more proactive than many other nations in dealing with the global climate crisis, it too has fallen short on the implementation. If the necessary steps are not taken soon, the decade we are going to embark on is going to be a lot more dangerous due to the rapid, out of control climate change.
The daily news of deteriorating air quality in Indian cities due to industrial pollution has become a regular affair. Recent studies show that industrial pollution in India has risen drastically and has led to a huge loss to the Indian economy in the last few years. Thus, there is an urgent need to understand and address this problem as early as possible and protect the environment from further damage.
After the European Union and the USA spelled their plan for a new green deal, it is important that India incorporates a green program that tries to minimize environmental degradation and provide a more sustainable growth model. The Pandemic is a golden opportunity to consider the idea of Rainbow new Deal put forth by some environmental activists.