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27-02-2023

12:00:AM

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Table of Contents


  • GS-2 Polity
    • A clean gamble: On carbon trading
  • GS-3 Environment
    • ‘Human spirit must prevail over technology’ - Albert Einstein
  • Fact File
    • Delhi HC dismisses petitions challenging Agnipath scheme: A look at its recruitment process
    • What is ALMA telescope, that will soon get a ‘new brain’?


A clean gamble: On carbon trading

GS-3:Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

Later this year, the Indian government is expected to provide more details on the establishment of a carbon trading market in India. This follows the amendment to the Energy Conservation Act, 2022 and the approval of the Paris and Glasgow agreements by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These changes have led to increased global recognition and use of carbon markets, where companies can buy and sell carbon credits and emission certificates.


 

What is carbon trading?

  • The concept of carbon trading has been gaining popularity as a market-based mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Under this scheme, countries or companies can buy or sell carbon credits, which represent a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • This system aims to incentivize businesses to invest in cleaner technologies and reduce their carbon footprint.

 

The potential benefits of carbon trading

Encouraging sustainable practices

  • By giving companies a financial incentive to reduce their carbon emissions, carbon trading encourages investment in clean energy and energy-efficient technologies. This, in turn, can help drive down the cost of renewable energy and make it more accessible to everyone.

Promoting international cooperation

  • By creating a global market for carbon credits, carbon trading can encourage countries to work together to reduce emissions. This can lead to a more coordinated and effective approach to tackling climate change.

Addressing the needs of developing countries

  • Carbon credits can be generated by projects that reduce emissions in developing countries, which can then be sold to companies or countries looking to offset their own emissions. This can provide a source of revenue for developing countries and encourage sustainable development.

 

The potential risks of carbon trading

Creating a false sense of security

  • By allowing companies to buy carbon credits, carbon trading can give the impression that emissions are being reduced when, in fact, they may simply be offset elsewhere. This can lead to complacency and a lack of action to reduce emissions at the source.

Market volatility

  • The value of carbon credits can fluctuate based on a range of factors, including political instability and economic uncertainty. This can create uncertainty for companies that rely on carbon credits and may discourage investment in clean energy and energy-efficient technologies.

Inequitable distribution of benefits

  • There is also a risk that the benefits of carbon trading may not be distributed equitably. 
  • For example, developing countries may not have the resources to participate fully in carbon trading, which could limit their ability to benefit from the scheme. 
  • Additionally, the may costs of reducing emissions fall disproportionately on certain groups, such as low-income communities.

 

Balancing risks and benefits

  • Overall, carbon trading has the potential to be an effective tool for reducing greenhouse gasemissions and promoting sustainable practices. 
  • However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to take steps to mitigate them. 
  • By balancing the risks and benefits, we can create a carbon trading system that is fair, effective, and environmentally sustainable.

 

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‘Human spirit must prevail over technology’ - Albert Einstein

GS-4: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

 

There has been a lot of talk about the relationship between humans and technology, specifically with the rise of AI programs such as ChatGPT and Bing's AI. In the midst of this discussion, a quote from Albert Einstein has emerged that says "Human spirit must prevail over technology," which deserves analysis.


 

Meaning of the quote

  • Albert Einstein, a renowned physicist, believed that humanity should be the primary focus in scientific research and endeavors, and emphasized the need for compassion to limit human ambition.
  • The quote implies that technology should be subservient to humanity and never allowed to dominate it, and is a warning that humans must ensure that anything potentially harmful is modified or discarded at the initial stages.
  • Einstein had seen firsthand the destructive consequences of uncontrolled scientific revolutions during the World Wars, and he opposed the Nazi Party and its activities in Germany.
  • The quote also highlights how humans tend to prioritize short-term gains over long-term benefits, such as the issue of rising global temperatures.
  • Despite having research tools and scientific expertise, humans are still not letting their "spirits prevail" over technology, making Einstein's words a prescient warning.

 

How and where can this quote be used?

  • The quote can be used in discussions about the impact of AI on humanity and the future of technology.
  • The quote can be used to remind us that the ultimate goal of AI should be to make human lives better.
  • The quote can be applied to medical technological advancements as an example of centring human welfare in the field of science.
  • In the context of public administration, the quote can be used to emphasize the importance of humans using AI as a tool to maintain records and other activities.

 

Similar quotes by Einstein

  • Without ‘ethical culture’, there is no salvation for humanity.” (From his 1951 essay ‘The Need for Ethical Culture’)
  •  “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” (From ‘What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck’, 1929)
  • A dictatorship means muzzles all round and consequently stultification. Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech.” (From 1930 essay ‘Science and Dictatorship’)
  • Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it.” (From a 1931 speech to students at the California Institute of Technology)

 

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Fact File


Delhi HC dismisses petitions challenging Agnipath scheme: A look at its recruitment process

  • Delhi High Court rejected petitions contesting the validity of the Agnipath scheme, citing it as a policy decision for national security and found no grounds to intervene.

Agniveer Scheme

  • The scheme lays down rules for recruitment to the armed forces, and was unveiled on June 14, 2022.
  • Around 46,000 soldiers between the ages of 17.5 and 21 years, known as "Agniveers," will be recruited into the three services (Army, Airforce, and Navy) for a period of four years on a short-term contractual basis.
  • In June 2022, the upper age limit for recruitment was extended to 23 years after violent protests in several states.
  • Only 25% of the total annual recruits will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under a permanent commission.For those who are re-selected, the initial four-year period will not be considered for retirement benefits.
  • The new system aims to reduce the defense pension bill, which has been a cause of concern for governments over the years.
  • The new system is only for personnel below officer ranks or personnel who do not join the forces as commissioned officers.
  • Once selected, the aspirants will go through training for six months and then will be deployed for three and a half years.
  • During this time, they will get a starting salary of Rs 30,000, along with additional benefits which will go up to Rs 40,000 by the end of the four-year service.
  • At the end of the four years, each soldier will get Rs 11.71 lakh as a lump sum amount, which will be tax-free. They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance coverfor those four years.
  • In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.
  • Recruitment will begin within 90 days under the scheme which will bring “all India, all class” recruitment to the services by way of an all-India merit-based selection, which will replace the British-era system of recruiting specific caste-based regiments.


What is ALMA telescope, that will soon get a ‘new brain’?

  • The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA)is a radio telescope consisting of 66 antennas in the Atacama Desert of Chile.
  • ALMA is operated under a partnership among the US, 16 European countries, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Chile.
  • It was designed and constructed by the US's NRAO, Japan's NAOJ, and Europe's ESO.
  • ALMA has helped astronomers make groundbreaking discoveries, including starburst galaxies and dust formation in supernova 1987A.

What is ALMA?

  • ALMA is a telescope that studies celestial objects at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths.
  • It can examine dim and distant galaxies and stars and penetrate through dust clouds.
  • It has extraordinary sensitivity and can detect even extremely faint radio signals.
  • The telescope consists of 66 high-precision antennas spread over a distance of up to 16 km.
  • Each antenna has receivers tuned to a specific range of wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • The antennas can be moved closer or farther apart for different perspectives, whichresults in magnificent, never-before-seen imagery of deep space.
  • Producing a single image from all the antennas is done by the correlator.

Why is ALMA located in Chile’s Atacama Desert?

  • Millimetre and submillimetre waves observed by ALMA are susceptible to atmospheric water vapour absorption, making the dry atmosphere of the desert ideal.
  • ALMA issituated at an altitude of 16,570 feet (5,050 metres) above sea level and is the driest place on Earth, with clear nights free of cloudsand moisture that can distort light.

Some of the notable discoveries made by ALMA

  • ALMA captures high-resolution to images of gas and duststudy the origins of our universe.
  • In 2013, ALMA discovered starburst galaxies earlier than previously thought, revealing what the most massive galaxies looked like in their energetic, star-forming youth.
  • In 2014, it provided detailed images of the protoplanetary disc surrounding HL Tauri, transforming previously accepted theories about planetary formation.
  • In 2015, it helped observe the phenomenon of the Einstein ring in extraordinary detail.
  • As part of the Event Horizon Telescope project, ALMA provided the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy in May 2022.



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