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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

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01 Feb, 2022

28 Min Read

Difference between Petroleum, Natural Gas, LNG, LPG and H-CNG

GS-III : Economic Issues Energy

Difference between Petroleum, Natural Gas, LNG, LPG and H-CNG

Petroleum / Mineral oil

Natural Gas

  1. Found in sedimentary rocks of marine origin
  2. Formed by decomposition of tiny marine creatures, plants & vegetation under mud, silt & sand. Over the years, it undergoes chemical changes to form crude oil & natural gas under the action of heat & pressure.
  3. 20 % of India’s crude oil & gas demand is produced domestically & 80 % is imported from (UAE, Saudi, Iran, Russia).
  4. Jamnagar Refineries of Reliance industries is world largest refinery complex.
  5. HPCL is a Navratna company. It has 2 refineries - Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam.
  1. NG is odorless, colorless gas made of variety of compounds but methane is the most imp. It is found in association with mineral oil (75% is in Bombay High and Bassein).
  2. NG gas 70-90% Methane, Ethane, Propane and Butane (0-20% combined), CO2, Oxygen, Nitrogen, H2S and Trace gases like (A, He, Ne, Xe).
  3. 40% Goes to Chemical fertilizers, 30% (Power generation) and 10% LPG.

Compressed Natural Gas

Liquified Natural Gas

  • CNG is obtained by compressing NG under high pressure. Reduces its volume.
  • Advantages
    • Viable alternative fuel (Storage cylinders)
    • Cheaper and reduce emissions.
    • Versatile and low storage costs.
    • Cleaner solution from diesel
  • Disadvantages
    • Explosion ka risk.
    • Infra support needed.
  • Applications: Buses, Trucks.
  • >90% is Methane and 3-4% is Ethane.
  • CNG is also very light, so if there is a leak, it will dissipate rapidly into air but LPG will settle on ground. This makes CNG a safer choice over LNG. CNG releases less GHGs.

Hydrogen Enriched Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG)

  • The blending of hydrogen with CNG provides a blended gas termed as HCNG. HCNG combines the advantages of both hydrogen and methane.
  • Delhi will be the first city in the country to roll out HCNG buses for public transport from November 2020.
  • This is a step towards combating air pollution.
  • LNG is produced by cooling NG to - 162 degree C in Cryogenic stage through Liquifaction. Kept in liquid form to increase quantities of NG that can be stored in tanks.
  • Advantages
    1. Easy to transport.
    2. Helps in electrification.
    3. Clean burning fuel, smoke free, less CO2 than Coal, no black carbon.
  • Disadvantages: Explosion and Infra.
  • Application: Business, Industry, Power generation, Cooking.
  • LNG takes less storage space than CNG.

LPG

  • is a byproduct derived while extracting crude petroleum. It has Propane and Butane. It produces CO2, NOx and CO and is much cleaner than Gasoline. Heavier than air hence it will settle down on leakage.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB)

  • The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was constituted under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 .
  • The objective of PNGRB is to protect the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas and to promote competitive markets and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • PNGRB authorises the CGD networks, natural gas and petroleum product pipelines, determines tariff, lays down the technical and safety standards etc.

India's first Hydrogen blended Natural Gas Project in Indore, India

  • Gas Authority of India Limited has commenced India’s first-of-it’s-kind project of mixing hydrogen into natural gas system at Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The hydrogen blended natural gas will be supplied to Avantika Gas Limited, one of GAIL’s Joint Venture (JV) Company with HPCL, operating in Indore.
  • In line with the National Hydrogen Mission, GAIL has started hydrogen blending as a pilot project to establish the techno-commercial feasibility of blending hydrogen in City Gas Distribution (CGD) network.
  • This project marks the stepping stone of India’s journey towards hydrogen based and carbon neutral future.
  • GAIL started injection of grey hydrogen at City Gate Station (CGS), Indore. This grey hydrogen would subsequently be replaced by green hydrogen. GAIL has already obtained necessary regulatory permissions to commence the project. GAIL has also engaged domain experts to carry out the impact assessment of blending of hydrogen in natural gas.

Source: PIB

SEHAT Scheme for Teleconsultation

GS-III : S&T Health

  • Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) is the tri-services teleconsultation service of the Ministry of Defense designed for all entitled personnel and their families.
  • As part of the Government’s commitment to Digital India and e-Governance, Minister of Defense launched SeHAT on 27 May 2021.
  • It has been a great example of innovation, especially at a time when the nation is fighting the COVID-19.
  • SeHAT stay home OPD is a patient-to-doctor system where the patient can consult a doctor remotely through the internet using his Smartphone, laptop, Desktop or Tablet. The consultation occurs through video, audio and chat at the same time. It aims to provide quality healthcare services to patients from the comfort of their homes. Safe and structured video-based clinical consultations between a doctor in a hospital, and a patient within the confines of his or her home anywhere in the country, have been enabled.
  • It is designed to be extremely simple and easy to use, which requires minimal effort from the users. The user does not need to pay anything to seek teleconsultation & can simply access the services by visiting https://sehatopd.gov.in, or by using the SeHAT apps available on the Play store & App Stores. Since its launch, there have been more than 10,000 successful teleconsultations on SeHAT, with a strong team of 2000 plus doctors onboard. The feedback from the environment has been extremely heart-warming.
  • Furthermore, taking the healthcare delivery right to the patient’s doorsteps, the Hon’ble Defence Secretary Shri Ajay Kumar, took the novel initiative of providing Home Delivery or Self Pickup of Medicines to patients seeking consultation on SeHAT.
  • Individuals desirous of their home delivery of self-pick-up may indicate their preference while logged in. To start with, this project of Home Delivery will be started with Base Hospital Delhi Cantt wef 01 Feb 2022, and would be extended to more and more stations in coming times.

Source: PIB

Ramsar sites and Wetlands in India

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Ecosystem

Ramsar sites and Wetlands in India

Context: A wetland is a place where the land is covered by water. Marshes, ponds, the edge of a lake/ocean, the delta at the mouth of a river, low-lying areas that frequently flood — all of these are wetlands. Wetlands of international importance are also known as Ramsar sites.

Wetlands are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life. They occur where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is covered by water.

Wetlands are defined as: "lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water".

Types of Wetlands:

  • Coastal Wetlands: Coastal wetlands are found in the areas between land and open sea that are not influenced by rivers such as shorelines, beaches, mangroves and coral reefs. A good example is the mangrove swamps found in sheltered tropical coastal areas.
  • Shallow lakes and ponds: These wetlands are areas of permanent or semi-permanent water with little flow. They include vernal ponds, spring pools, salt lakes and volcanic crater lakes.
  • Marshes: These are periodically saturated, flooded, or ponded with water and characterized by herbaceous (non-woody) vegetation adapted to wet soil conditions. Marshes are further characterized as tidal marshes and non-tidal marshes.
  • Swamps: These are fed primarily by surface water inputs and are dominated by trees and shrubs. Swamps occur in either freshwater or saltwater floodplains.
  • Bogs: Bogs are waterlogged peatlands in old lake basins or depressions in the landscape. Almost all water in bogs comes from rainfall.
  • Estuaries: The area where rivers meet the sea and water changes from fresh to salt can offer an extremely rich mix of biodiversity. These wetlands include deltas, tidal mudflats and salt marshes.

Why wetlands are called ‘Ramsar sites’?

Ramsar is a city in Iran. In 1971, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands was signed at Ramsar. The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.

More than 2300 wetlands of international importance!

  • Today, the Ramsar List is the world’s largest network of protected areas.
  • There are currently over 2,300 Ramsar Sites around the world. They cover over 2.5 million square kilometres, an area larger than Mexico.
  • The world’s first Site was the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia, designated in 1974.
  • The largest Sites are Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Queen Maud Gulf in Canada; these Sites each cover over 60,000 square kilometres.
  • The countries with the most Sites are the United Kingdom with 175 and Mexico with 142.
  • Bolivia has the largest area with 148,000 km2 under Ramsar protection.

Facts:

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2nd February.

  • This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in Ramsar, Iran.
  • In 2019 World Wetlands Day was celebrated with a theme – 'Wetlands and climate change'.
  • 2020 theme for World Wetlands Day 'Wetlands and Water,' highlights the importance of wetlands as a source of freshwater and encourages action to restore them and stop their loss. This is especially important as we mark the UN Decades of Ocean Science and Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).
  • On 2nd February 2021, India’s first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management has been set up in Chennai.
  • There are 49 wetlands in India that have international importance and hence recognized as the Ramsar Sites in India. Ramsar Sites are the wetlands that have international importance.

List of Ramsar sites in India [Latest]

Ramsar Sites in India

State – Location

Ashtamudi Wetland

Kerala

Beas Conservation Reserve

Punjab

Bhitarkanika Mangroves

Odisha

Bhoj Wetlands

Madhya Pradesh

Chandra Taal

Himachal Pradesh

Chilika Lake

Odisha

Deepor Beel

Assam

East Kolkata Wetlands

West Bengal

Harike Wetlands

Punjab

Hokera Wetland

Jammu & Kashmir

Kanjli Wetland

Punjab

Keoladeo National Park

Rajasthan

Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve

Punjab

Kolleru lake

Andhra Pradesh

Loktak lake

Manipur

Nalsarovar Bird sanctuary

Gujarat

Nandur Madhameshwar

Maharashtra

Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary

Punjab

Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary

Uttar Pradesh

Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary

Uttar Pradesh

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary

Tamil Nadu

Pong Dam lake

Himachal Pradesh

Renuka lake

Himachal Pradesh

Ropar Wetland

Punjab

Rudrasagar Lake

Tripura

Saman Bird Sanctuary

Uttar Pradesh

Samaspur Bird Sanctuary

Uttar Pradesh

Sambhar lake

Rajasthan

Sandi Bird Sanctuary

Uttar Pradesh

Sarsai Nawar Jheel

Uttar Pradesh

Sasthamkotta lake

Kerala

Surinsar- Mansar lakes

Jammu & Kashmir

Tsomoriri

Ladakh

Upper Ganga river

Uttar Pradesh

Vembanad Kol Wetland

Kerala

Wular lake

Jammu & Kashmir

Sunderban Wetland

West Bengal

Asan Barrage

Uttarakhand

Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal

Bihar

Lonar Lake

Maharashtra

Sur Sarovar

Uttar Pradesh

Tso Kar Wetland Complex

Ladakh

Sultanpur National Park Haryana
Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary Haryana
Thol Lake Gujarat
Wadhavana Wetland Gujarat
Bakira Wildlife Sanctuary (2022) Uttar Pradesh
Khijadiya Wildlife Sanctuary (2022) Gujarat

Ramsar Sites in India & Indian Wetlands

What are Ramsar Sites?

Any wetland site which has been listed under the Ramsar Convention that aims to conserve it and promote sustainable use of its natural resources is called a Ramsar Site.

What is the Ramsar Convention?

Ramsar Convention is known as the Convention of Wetlands. It was established in 1971 by UNESCO and came into force in 1975.

Is India a part of the Ramsar Convention?

Yes, India is a party to the Ramsar Convention. India signed under it on 1st February 1982.

How many Ramsar Sites are in India?

There are 49 Ramsar Sites in India [Latest]

Which is the largest Ramsar Site in India?

Sundarbans is the largest Ramsar Site of India

Which is the first Ramsar Site in India?

Chilika Lake (Orissa) and Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) were recognized as the first Ramsar Sites of India

Which Indian state has the most number of Ramsar Sites?

Uttar Pradesh has the most number of Ramsar Sites in India. It has 9 Indian Wetlands.

Which is the smallest wetland in India?

Renuka Wetland in Himachal Pradesh is the smallest wetland of India.

Other Facts:

Ramsar sites are one of the major protected areas in the world. There are currently over 2400 Ramsar sites in the world covering an area of 2.5 million sq. kilometres.

  1. World’s First Ramsar site was identified in 1974, which was the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia.
  2. The United Kingdom has the world’s largest number of Ramsar sites i.e 175.
  3. February 2 is celebrated as International Wetlands Day as the Ramsar Convention was signed on February 2, 1971.
  4. The Ramsar Convention works with the collaboration of the following organizations:
    1. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    2. Birdlife International.
    3. International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
    4. Wetlands International.
    5. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
    6. WWF International
  5. To research any of the Ramsar sites, one can check the Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS)
  6. The number of contracting parties for the Ramsar Convention as of October 2019 is 171.

Importance

  • Wetlands are highly productive ecosystems that provide the world with nearly two-thirds of its fish harvest.
  • Wetlands play an integral role in the ecology of the watershed. The combination of shallow water, high levels of nutrients is ideal for the development of organisms that form the base of the food web and feed many species of fish, amphibians, shellfish and insects.
  • Wetlands' microbes, plants and wildlife are part of global cycles for water, nitrogen and sulphur. Wetlands store carbon within their plant communities and soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
  • Wetlands function as natural barriers that trap and slowly release surface water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater and flood waters. Wetland vegetation also slow the speed of flood waters lowering flood heights and reduces soil erosion.
  • Wetlands are critical to human and planet life. More than one billion people depend on them for a living and 40% of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands.
  • Wetlands are a vital source for food, raw materials, genetic resources for medicines, and hydropower.
  • They play an important role in transport, tourism and the cultural and spiritual well-being of people.
  • They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.
  • Many wetlands are areas of natural beauty and promote tourism and many are important to Aboriginal people.
  • Wetlands also provide important benefits for industry. For example, they form nurseries for fish and other freshwater and marine life and are critical to commercial and recreational fishing industries.

Threats to Wetlands

  • Urbanization: Wetlands near urban centres are under increasing developmental pressure for residential, industrial and commercial facilities. Urban wetlands are essential for preserving public water supplies.
  • Agriculture: Vast stretches of wetlands have been converted to paddy fields. Construction of a large number of reservoirs, canals and dams to provide for irrigation significantly altered the hydrology of the associated wetlands.
  • Pollution: Wetlands act as natural water filters. However, they can only clean up the fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural runoff but not mercury from industrial sources and other types of pollution.
    • There is growing concern about the effect of industrial pollution on drinking water supplies and the biological diversity of wetlands.
  • Climate Change: Increased air temperature; shifts in precipitation; increased frequency of storms, droughts, and floods; increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration; and sea level rise could also affect wetlands.
  • Dredging: The removal of material from a wetland or river bed. Dredging of streams lowers the surrounding water table and dries up adjacent wetlands.
  • Draining: Water is drained from wetlands by cutting ditches into the ground which collect and transport water out of the wetland. This lowers the water table and dries out the wetland.
  • Introduced Species: Indian wetlands are threatened by exotic introduced plant species such as water hyacinth and salvinia. They clog waterways and compete with native vegetation.
  • Salinization: Over withdrawal of groundwater has led to salinisation.

Conservation Efforts

Ramsar Convention

  • The Convention came in to force in 1975.
  • The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
  • Three pillars of the Convention are:
    • Work towards the wise use of all their wetlands.
    • Designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management.
    • Cooperate internationally on transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species.
  • India has 27 Ramsar Sites which are the Wetlands of International importance.

Montreux Record

  • It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.
  • Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
  • Two wetlands of India are in Montreux Record: Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur). Chilka lake (Odisha) was placed in the record but was later removed from it.

Source: TH

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

GS-III : S&T Health

  • Observing the 3rd World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day on 30th Jan 2022, as a key moment to highlight the global community’s commitment to ending NTDs, India joined close to 40 other nations to illuminate the iconic New Delhi Railway Station in purple and orange hues, which is one of the busiest railway stations in the country in terms of train frequency and passenger movement.
  • NTDs are caused mostly by a variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins. They affect over 1.7 billion people globally.

  • They are “neglected” because they are almost absent from the global health agenda of the developed countries and are associated with stigma and social exclusion.
  • According to a recent study posted by the Public Library of Science ( PLOS), India ranks number one globally for the most number of cases when it comes to 11 neglected tropical diseases (NTD). The NTDs include Ascariasis, Hookworm disease, Trichuriasis, Dengue, Lymphatic filariasis (LF), Trachoma, Cysticercosis, Leprosy, Cystic echinococcosis, Visceral leishmaniasis and Rabies.
  • NTD’s are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions across 149 countries, which also includes India, according to WHO.
  • A study by WHO affirms this in a report that suggests that India has the most number of total cases of all major NTDs excluding those that are spatially bound because of transmission through unique insects or snails (e.g., schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, human African trypanosomiasis and Chagas disease). Looking at the figures, it is possible that India’s high ranking extends beyond the diseases currently considered as NTDs by WHO.
  • Since India is the world’s second most populous nation and accounts for about 18% of the world’s population, it is expected to harbour a significant NTD burden. However, the fact these diseases are also associated with economic backwardness means that India can essentially have no excuse for topping the list.
  • The tropical country, in spite of being the seventh largest GDP in the world spends as little as 1.2% of its GDP on healthcare. The result of this neglection is that more than 50% cases of dengue, leprosy and trachoma occur in India. While the cases trichuriasis and cystic echinococcosis in India account for about 16% and 12% of the cases across the world respectively, other NTDs - ascariasis, hookworm disease, lymphatic filariasis, cysticercosis, visceral leishmaniasis and rabies - are about 18% to 45%.
  • Moreover, the cases of NTDs in India are not evenly distributed, but instead are focused in sections of poverty in both, urban and rural areas. If left unchecked the diseases are expected reduce India’s economy by impairing worker productivity and intellectual growth in children. The global community’s focus on India’s NTD problem could dramatically advance the global health agenda.

Source: PIB

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