Jyotiba Phule

  • Born: 11 April, 1827
  • Passed Away: 28 November, 1890
  • Originally Jyotirao’s family belonged to ‘mali’ caste, considered as inferior by the Brahmins.
  • Jyotiba Phule devoted his entire life for the liberation of untouchables from the exploitation of Brahmins.
  • He revolted against the tyranny of the upper castes.

 Contributions 

  • Jyotiba Phule was one of the prominent social reformers of the nineteenth century India.
  • He led the movement against the prevailing caste-restrictions in India.
  • He revolted against the domination of the Brahmins and for the rights of peasants and other low-caste fellow.
  • Jyotiba Phule was believed to be the first Hindu to start an orphanage for the unfortunate children.

 Movement

  • In 1848, Jyotirao was insulted at a wedding as he belonged to inferior caste and then he made up his mind to defy the prevailing caste-system and social restrictions.
  • He then started his campaign of serving the people of lower caste who were deprived of all their rights as human beings.
  • The orthodox Brahmins of the society blamed him for vitiating the norms and regulations of the society.
  • Jyotirao attacked the orthodox Brahmins and other upper castes and termed them as “hypocrites”.
  • He campaigned against the authoritarianism of the upper caste people. He urged the “peasants” and “proletariat” to defy the restrictions imposed upon them.
  • Jyotiba established a girls’ school and asked his wife to teach the girls in the school.
  • Jyotirao, later, opened two more schools for the girls and an indigenous school for the lower castes, especially the Mahars and Mangs.
  • Viewing the pathetic condition of widows and unfortunate children Jyotirao established an orphanage in 1854.

 Satya Shodhak Samaj 

  • Jyotirao blamed the Brahmins for framing the weird and inhuman laws. He concluded that the laws were made to suppress the “shudras” and rule over them.
  • In 1873, Jyotiba Phule formed the Satya Shodhak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth).
  • The purpose of the organization was to liberate the people of lower-castes from the suppression of the Brahmins.

Asian Nature Conservation Foundation:

Asian Nature Conservation Foundation:

  • It was established in 1997 as a charitable trust.
  • It has its headquarters at the Innovation Centre office of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • It is a small group of conservation scientists, planners, information managers and administrators working together to support the conservation of biological diversity in India.
  • It is actively involved in the conservation of the Asian Elephant, considered to be a keystone species in the biologically rich forests of South and Southeast Asia.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES):

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES):

  • It is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world.
  • It was started by U.S. government in 2010.
  • It serves as a vital link between governments and the private sector, and convenes global participants to showcase projects, network, exchange ideas, and champion new opportunities for investment.
  • Its aims to highlight entrepreneurship as means to address some of the most intractable global challenges.

GES-2017, Hyderabad:

  • It will be the eighth annual GES summit.
  • It will be the first GES summit to be held in South Asia.
  • Since 2010, it has been hosted by Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and last year it was held in Silicon Valley in the US.
  • The Theme of GES-2017 is ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’, the main focus will be on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.

Areas of main focus:

The GES 2017 will focus on four key industry sectors:

  1. Energy and Infrastructure.
  2. Healthcare and Life Sciences.
  3. Financial Technology and Digital Economy.
  4. Media and Entertainment

India’s new role:

  • The event will highlight India’s enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Through two and half days of training and mentoring sessions, networking, and investment matchmaking, the United States and India will forge new collaborations and launch new initiatives, while reducing the barriers inhibiting international growth and innovation.

Everything about OIL SPILL

OIL SPILL: 

An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon or naturally extracted oil into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity and is a form of pollution.

Remedies:

1.Dispersant:

  • Dispersants are chemicals that when applied to oil floating on the surface greatly increases the rate of dispersal and breakdown of the oil. Dispersants assist the natural process where the mechanical action of the water can break down oil into small droplets.
  • Dispersants are categorised into:

Type 1: Hydrocarbon solvent-based dispersant used undiluted

Type 2: Concentrates, diluted 1:10 with water before use

Type 3: High efficacy concentrates used undiluted

2.Demulsifiers

  • These are chemicals used to separate oil and water. They can be used with dispersants when the type of oil prevents chemical dispersion.

3.Surface cleaners

  • Surface cleaners are chemicals that when applied to oil covered hard surfaces increase the rate of dispersal from the surface, aiding cleaning.

4.Bioremediation products

  • Bioremediation accelerates the natural degradation process through adding nutrients, micro-organisms, or both.

5.Oil Zapping:

  • Oil Zapping is a bio-remediation technique involving the use of ‘oil zapping’ bacteria.
  • The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has developed the oil zapping bacteria.
  • The Oil Zapping project was supported by the Department of Biotechnology (Government of India) and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • There are five different bacterial strains that are immobilized and mixed with a carrier material such as powdered corncob. This mixture of five bacteria is called Oil Zapper.
  • Oilzapper feeds on hydrocarbon compounds present in crude oil and the hazardous hydrocarbon waste generated by oil refineries, known as Oil Sludge and converts them into harmless CO2 and water.
  • The Oilzapper is neatly packed into sterile polythene bags and sealed aseptically for safe transport. The shelf life of the product is three months at ambient temperature.

6.Sorbents

  • Sorbents absorb oil and are usually in the form of powder, granules or beads.
  • They are either absorbent (they take some liquid into themselves) or adsorbent (forms a layer on the surface of the oil) materials and can be synthetic or natural, packaged or loose.

7.Degreasers

  • Degreasers are used for cleaning grease from machinery of ships and marine structures

Tropic of Capricorn 

Tropic of Capricorn passes through below countries

S America

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Paraguay

Africa

  • Namibia
  • Botswana
  • S Africa
  • Mozambique
  • Madagascar

Oceania 

  • Australia

Evetything about Organic Farming

Organic Farming

  • Organic farming is a combination of tradition, innovation and science.
  • It is a production system that relies on the use of natural inputs that are suitable to local environment, rather than using synthetic chemicals with adverse effects.
  • In the transition from conventional to organic farming, synthetic chemical fertilizers are replaced with natural inputs and bio-materials like organic manures, neem cake, cow dung, and chemical pesticides are replaced with neem oil and bio- pesticides.

 Types of Orgnaic Manures:

  • Farm yard manure                              -  Crop Residues
  • Green manure                                   - Bio-fertilisers
  • Vermi-compost

Benefits of Organic Farming:

  • Inputs for organic farming are cheaper and yields fetch premium price on crops leading to higher returns to the farmer.
  • Improvement in soil health and fertility.
  • Promotes efficient use of water resources and decreases water pollution.
  • Beneficial to the environment: Decrease in GHGs like nitrous oxide as there is no use of chemical fertilizers.
  • Organic food is free of toxic materials that otherwise make way to the food chain.

Constrains of Organic Farming:

  • Lack of technical support: Organic farming needs dedicated guidance for implementation.
  • Decrease in income (initially): For farmers the activity is less profitable initially due to decrease in yields during conversion period.
  • Lack about market information: Organic farmers are dependent on urban markets & export markets and accessing such markets requires contracts with large companies. The small organic farmer are unable to reach those who are paying more for organic products.
  • Questions on the safety of organic food: The organics industry is young and not well-regulated in India. The farmers lack knowledge about the products that are not to be used in farms. For example farmers often use farmyard manure which may contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. This can compromise the quality of food and may have an adverse impact on the health of consumers.

 Solutions:

  • Encouragement for organic farming should be supported by financial incentives during the first three years and assurance of a better market for the produce.
  • Collective farming: There is a need to organize farmers in a way that they can enter into contracts and demand a fair price from global companies.
  • Providing ease in obtaining organic certification.
  • Instead of going “full organic” in one go ,farmers can be educated about eco-friendly food that will allow the use of limited agrochemicals within safe levels.

What is ‘Swiss challenge’ approach?

Swiss challenge method is a process of giving contracts. Any person with credentials can submit a development proposal to the government. That proposal will be made online and a second person can give suggestions to improve and beat that proposal.

  • It is a method where third parties make offers (challenges) for a project within a designated period to avoid exaggerated project costs.

Swiss model: 

The government plans to adopt the ‘Swiss Challenge’ mode to invite bids for redeveloping the stations.

How Swiss model operates? 

  • First, the government will invite developers to submit their master plans.
  • After evaluating the proposals, the selected design will be uploaded over the Ministry of Railways website.
  • Financial bids will be invited and the developer quoting the highest upfront premium to be paid to the government will win the bid.
  • However, the project developer, who had originally submitted the plan, will be given an opportunity to match the bid amount.

The government will also ensure that the developer has prior experience in the field of passenger transportation such as railway stations, airports or ports or construction experience in the core sector.

Right against Exploitation 

Right against Exploitation

Art 23: Forced labor/ Traffic 

  • No forced labor – slavery – servitude
  • No trafficking
  • State can force for public interest
  • conscription
  • punishable

Art 24: Child labor 

  • Punishable
  • < 14 – no hazardous and non hazardous regulated by state
  • The government had brought a new law to govern child labour, known as the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, which put a blanket ban on employment of children below 14 years of age. However, it had made two exceptions in favour of child labour: children could work as child artistes (in the entertainment sector), and could “help” in their family enterprises.
  • New bill – ban until 14 yrs except family enterprise (shouldn’t be hazardous) and entertainment industry, that too after school hours and on vacations only. And 18 yrs ban for hazardous
  • Child welfare fund

Bharat Standard Norms

Bharat Standard Norms

  • Introduced in the year 2000, the Bharat norms are emission control standards put in place by the government to keep a check on air pollution.
  • Based on the European regulations (Euro norms), these standards set specifications/limits for the release of air pollutants from equipment using internal combustion engines, including vehicles. Typically, the higher the stage, the more stringent the norms.
  • The BS IV norms were introduced in 13 cities apart from the National Capital Region from April 2010.
  • Currently, BS IV fuel is being made available across the country in stages, with the entire nation expected to be covered by April1 2017.
  • Implementation of the BS V standard was earlier scheduled for 2019.
  • This has now been skipped.
  • BS VI, originally proposed to come in by 2024 has been now advanced to 2020, instead.

Why is it important?

  • Upgrading to stricter fuel standards helps tackle air pollution.
  • Global automakers are betting big on India as vehicle penetration is still low here, when compared to developed countries.
  • At the same time, cities such as Delhi are already being listed among those with the poorest air quality in the world.
  • With other developing countries such as China having already upgraded to the equivalent of Euro V emission norms a while ago, India has been lagging behind.
  • While BS IV-compliant fuel currently in use has 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, BS VI stipulates a low 10 ppm.
  • Besides, under BS VI, particulate matter emission for diesel cars and nitrogen oxide levels are expected to be substantially lower than in BS IV.
  • The experience of countries such as China and Malaysia (which is currently grappling with haze) shows that poor air quality can be bad for business.
  • Therefore, leapfrogging to BS VI can put India ahead in the race for investments too.
  • When BS VI norms are implemented, you can look forward to breathing in cleaner air in cities.
  • New vehicles sold from 2020 will have to be equipped with engines compliant with the new standards.
  • Besides, the government is also thinking about a ‘cash-for-clunkers’ scheme for scrapping old vehicles.
  • This will help owners of older and more polluting vehicles to upgrade to newer vehicles which use cleaner fuel, with a subsidy from the government.
  • Upgraded emission norms could also mean less fuel-guzzling vehicles.
  • On the flip side, the use of new technology means higher costs for automobile manufacturers.
  • And that, dear buyer, will be passed on to you when you look to upgrade to your next car.
  • Oil refiners too will need higher capital outlays to produce superior quality fuel and may look to pass on the bill to you.
  • But remember it’s for a good cause.

Air Pollution – Particulate Matter

Fine Particles, Particulate Matter 2.5:

  • Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when levels in air are high.
  • PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated.
  • Outdoor PM2.5 levels are most likely to be elevated on days with little or no wind or air mixing.

What is Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5)?

  • The term fine particles, or particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width.
  • Outdoor air levels of fine particles increase during periods of stagnant air (very little wind and air mixing), when the particles are not carried away by wind, or when winds bring polluted air into the state from sources outside the state. In general, as the levels of PM2.5 in outdoor air increase, the air appears hazy and visibility is reduced.

Where does PM2.5 come from?

  • There are outdoor and indoor sources of fine particles.
  • Outside, fine particles primarily come from car, truck, bus and off-road vehicle (e.g., construction equipment, snowmobile, locomotive) exhausts, other operations that involve the burning of fuels such as wood, heating oil or coal and natural sources such as forest and grass fires. Fine particles also form from the reaction of gases or droplets in the atmosphere from sources such as power plants. As fine particles can be carried long distances from their source, events such as wildfires or volcanic eruptions can raise fine particle concentrations hundreds of miles from the event.
  • Some indoor sources of fine particles are tobacco smoke, cooking (e.g., frying, sautéing, and broiling), burning candles or oil lamps, and operating fireplaces and fuel-burning space heaters (e.g., kerosene heaters).

How can PM2.5 affect health?

  • Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs.
  • Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath.
  • Studies also suggest that long term exposure to fine particulate matter may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, asthma, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease.
  • People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM2.5.
  • Chronic exposure to high pollution is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and early labor in pregnant women and low birth weight.