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Monthly DNA

17 Apr, 2021

30 Min Read

Impact of CoVID on Women and Adolescent girls

GS-I : Social issues Women

Impact of CoVID on Women and Adolescent girls

  • The study is titled ‘COVID In Her Voice: A Girl-led and Centred Participatory Research Study
  • It was conducted by girls aged 13-24 from Ahmedabad, Alwar, Bareilly, Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune within their communities.
  • The study was supported by the U.K. government and conducted by EMpower, global philanthropy focused on at-risk youth in emerging markets.
  • It adopted a unique methodology where girls were trained as researchers to conduct interviews with a total of 153 girls from their respective communities.

Findings of the study

  • 25 girls from seven cities set out to interview their peers to record the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and found that adolescent girls were grappling with an
  1. increased pressure to get married,
  2. spent longer hours on household chores,
  3. lacked tools to continue school education online, and
  4. reported an increase in gender-based violence.
  • Among the biggest challenges girls faced was the inability to attend online school.
  • This was a result of nearly 80% of respondents reporting an increase in household chores, which meant that 64% of girls and young women felt they did not have the space or get the time to study online.
  • Lack of access to resources and technology was also a challenge — nearly 28% of those surveyed didn’t have the tools such as mobile phones or Internet access to learn online.
  • With households from marginalised communities facing financial stress due to the economic impact of COVID-19, girls believed that the pressure to get married had increased, with nearly 42% reporting this.
  • Almost 90% of girls reported experiencing mental distress and despair without any access to information about coping mechanisms.
  • Their mental distress was exacerbated because of barriers in communicating with friends and teachers.
  • Up to 26% of respondents believe there was an increase in gender-based violence and felt that fears and threats of violence intensified restrictions on their freedom.
  • On concluding the field research, seven girl leaders finalised a list of priority recommendations which include establishing girl-friendly spaces within the community such as skills training centres and violence-free spaces.

Source: TH

Regulations Review Authority 2.0 by RBI

GS-III : Economic Issues

Regulations Review Authority 2.0 by RBI

Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the setting up of a new Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0).

About Regulations Review Authority(RRA):

  • RBI earlier set up the first RRA for a period of one year from April 1, 1999. This is for reviewing the regulations, circulars, reporting systems, based on the feedback from the public, banks and financial institutions.

About Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0):

  • RRA 2.0 will streamline the regulatory instructions, reduce the compliance burden of the entities under regulations.
  • The RRA 2.0 will achieve this by simplifying procedures and reduce reporting requirements wherever possible.
  • It will be haded by M Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor of RBI.
  • The authority will be set up for a period of one year from May 1. But, RBI can extend its tenure.

The terms of reference of RRA 2.0 include:

  • Making regulatory and supervisory instructions more effective by removing redundancies and duplications.
  • To obtain feedback from regulated entities on simplification of procedures and enhancement of ease of compliance.
  • RRA will reduce the compliance burden on regulated entities by streamlining the reporting mechanism; revoking obsolete instructions if necessary.
  • To examine and suggest the changes required in the dissemination process of RBI circulars/ instructions.
  • To engage internally as well as externally with all regulated entities and other stakeholders to facilitate the process.

Source: PIB

New Delhi Dialogue 2021 on The Hydrogen Economy

GS-III : Economic Issues Energy

New Delhi Dialogue 2021 on The Hydrogen Economy

The Union Minister inaugurated The Hydrogen Economy – New Delhi Dialogue 2021.

About Hydrogen Economy – New Delhi Dialogue 2021:

  • New Delhi Dialogue 2021 is organized by The Energy Forum(TEF), an independent think tank in India in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry(FIPI).
  • FIPI is under the patronage of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • The dialogue aims to discuss emerging hydrogen ecosystems and exploring opportunities for collaboration, cooperation and coalition.
  • The dialogue will comprise a High-level Ministerial Session followed by Panel Discussions by eminent policymakers.
  • The dialogue focus on policy roadmaps and mapping the demand and supply of Hydrogen.

About National Hydrogen Energy Mission:

  • The Union Budget for 2021-22 announced a National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHM). The mission will draw a road map for using hydrogen as an energy source.
  • The mission will focus on the generation of hydrogen from green power resources.

Hydrogen as a fuel:

  • Hydrogen is the lightest element in the periodic table. It is the most abundant chemical substance in the universe.
  • However, the most common element in nature is not available freely. Hydrogen also exists only in combination with other elements. Thus, it has to be extracted from natural compounds, like water.
  • Hydrogen is categorized by colour tabs, based on its source. We can divide it into ‘grey’ hydrogen (produced from fossil fuels), ‘blue’ hydrogen (produced from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage) or ‘green’ hydrogen (produced from renewable electricity).
  • Green Hydrogen is specifically focussed upon in the government mission.
  • Hydrogen is considered an alternative to fossil and other types of fuels.
  • However, Hydrogen is a carrier of energy, not a source of it. Fuel cells are required to transform Hydrogen into electricity and use it. Cells use oxidizing agents through an oxidation-reduction reaction, to convert chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • In the case of Hydrogen, fuel cells combine Hydrogen and Oxygen to generate electricity. A catalyst, usually made from platinum is generally used for this.

Advantages of Hydrogen fuel:

  • Readily Available: It is a basic earth element and is available in abundance.
  • Doesn’t Produce Harmful Emissions: When it burns, it doesn’t emit harmful substances. The only by-product or emission from the usage of hydrogen fuel is water. It makes this fuel 100% clean.
  • Environmentally Friendly: It is a non-toxic substance which is rare for a fuel source.
  • Fuel-Efficient: Compared to diesel or gas, it is much more fuel-efficient as it can produce more energy per pound of fuel.

Disadvantages of Hydrogen Fuel:

  • Expensive: Although it is widely available, it is time-consuming to separate hydrogen gas from its companion substances.
  • Difficult to Store: Hydrogen is very difficult to store. Its transportation even in a small amount is very expensive.
  • Not Easy to Replace Existing Infrastructure: There is not much infrastructure that can support hydrogen as fuel. Also, cars need to be refitted in order to accommodate hydrogen as fuel.
  • Highly Inflammable: Since it is a very powerful source of fuel, hydrogen can be very flammable. Hydrogen gas burns in air at very wide concentrations – between 4% and 75%.

Source: PIB

Electronic nose to detect “Hydrogen Sulphide” from Sewers

GS-I : Indian Society Poverty and Developmental issues

Electronic nose to detect “Hydrogen Sulphide” from Sewers

  • Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bangalore have developed Electronic Nose to detect Hydrogen Sulphide from swamps and sewers.
  • CeNS is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology

About Hydrogen Sulphide:

  • Hydrogen Sulphide is the chemical compound with the formula H2S.
  • It is a colourless chalcogen hydride gas. It is with the characteristic foul odour of rotten eggs. (Chacogen – chalcogens are the chemical elements in group 16 of the periodic table).
  • Hydrogen Sulphide is slightly denser than air. It is also poisonous, corrosive and flammable.

How is Hydrogen Sulphide produced?

  • Hydrogen sulfide is often produced from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen gas, such as in swamps and sewers.
  • This process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion.
  • It occurs naturally in crude oil, natural gas, and hot springs.
  • H2S also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas and in some sources of well water.
  • The human body also produces small amounts of H2S and uses it as a signalling molecule.

Impact of Hydrogen Sulphide on Health:

  • The health effects of hydrogen sulphide depend on how much H2S a person inhales and for how long.
  • Exposure to Hydrogen Sulphide includes headaches, memory loss, and problems with the cardiovascular system.
  • However, many effects are seen even at low concentrations. Effects range from mild, headaches or eye irritation to very serious, unconsciousness and death.

Source: PIB

IMD Forecasts for Monsoon 2021

GS-I : Physical Geography Climatology

IMD Forecasts for Monsoon 2021

About India Meteorological Department

  • India Meteorological Department was established in 1875. It is the National Meteorological Service of the country and the principal government agency in all matters relating to meteorology, seismology and allied subjects.
  • To take meteorological observations and to provide current and forecast meteorological information for optimum operation of weather-sensitive activities like agriculture, irrigation, shipping, aviation, offshore oil explorations, etc.
  • To warn against severe weather phenomena like tropical cyclones, norwesters, duststorms, heavy rains and snow, cold and heat waves, etc., which cause destruction of life and property.
  • To provide meteorological statistics required for agriculture, water resource management, industries, oil exploration and other nation-building activities.
  • To conduct and promote research in meteorology and allied disciplines.
  • To detect and locate earthquakes and to evaluate seismicity in different parts of the country for development projects.’

Note: Long Period Average (LPA) -refers to the average monsoon rainfall from 1961-2010, which is 88 cm (880.6 mm to be precise). Until 2019, the LPA stood at 887.5 mm considering the average from 1951-2000. Monsoon rainfall between 96 and 104 per cent is considered as the normal monsoon. The current forecast of 100 per cent means a total of around 88 cm rainfall is likely during the monsoon months from June to September.

El Nino

  • El Nino refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. It is associated with high pressure in the western Pacific.
  • El Nino adversely impacts the Indian monsoons and hence, agriculture in India.
  • The cool surface water off the Peruvian coast goes warm because of El Nino. When the water is warm, the normal trade winds get lost or reverse their direction.
  • Hence, the flow of moisture-laden winds is directed towards the coast of Peru from the western Pacific (the region near northern Australia and South East Asia).
  • This causes heavy rains in Peru during the El Nino years robbing the Indian subcontinent of its normal monsoon rains.
  • The larger the temperature and pressure difference, the larger the rainfall shortage in India.

La Nina

  • La Nina means ‘little girl’ in Spanish and is also known as El Viejo or ‘cold event’.
  • Here, the water temperature in the Eastern Pacific gets colder than normal.
  • As a result of this, there is a strong high pressure over the eastern equatorial Pacific.
  • Now, there is low pressure in the Western Pacific and off Asia.
  • La Nina causes drought in Peru and Ecuador, heavy floods in Australia, high temperatures in Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, off the Somalian coast and good monsoon rains in India. A La Nina is actually beneficial for the Indian monsoon.
  • Generally, El Nino and La Nina occur every 4 – 5 years. El Nino is more frequent than La Nina. Typically, the episodes last for nine to twelve months.

What is in the news?

  • India is likely to receive “normal” monsoon rainfall this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said as part of its official April forecast. Except for parts of eastern and northeastern India, many parts of the country are expected to get “above normal” rainfall, the IMD’s models show.
  • “Normal” rainfall refers to a range — 96%-104% of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 88 cm.

  • Earlier this week, private weather forecasting company, Skymet Weather, too, said it expected India to get normal rainfall, but said this was likely to be 103% of the LPA, whereas the IMD, on Friday, has estimated it to be 98% of the LPA.
  • The April forecast, which is based on an analysis of select meteorological factors in March, is updated in May, along with estimates of how the monsoon will perform in different geographical regions. In 2019, the IMD forecast 96% LPA in April, but India ended up with record excessive rainfall of 110%.
  • In 2020, it said 100% LPA, but India wound up with 109%. IMD officials, however, said it was unlikely there would be such excessive rain this year.
  • In 2019, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) — defined as a swing in temperatures in the western and eastern sections of the Indian Ocean, where a positive phase usually corresponds to good rains over India — contributed to the excess rains.
  • Last year it was La Nina — the converse of an El Nino and associated with a cooling of the equatorial central Pacific — again a feature correlated with heavy India rains.
  • “This year, the models show a weak IOD and neutral conditions in the central Pacific. It’s unlikely there will be over 105% LPA this year,” D.S. Pai, a meteorologist with the IMD’s National Climate Centre, Pune, told The Hindu.
  • Though the IMD now issues short-term and extended range forecasts — that is, an estimate of rainfall in time frames of three days to 15 days — for the first time this year, it will begin giving monthly forecasts for all months.
  • It has so far refrained from giving a forecast for June and September, months that are known to be erratic as those are the months when the monsoon enters and exits the country, respectively, posing a challenge to meteorologists. Dr. Pai, however, said the IMD’s work for several years in honing the skills of a class of models, called dynamical models, has improved their forecasting abilities over three weeks.
  • “So we can now extend it to monthly forecasts. The overall aim of these models is to be able to accommodate changes in the global weather that will influence the monsoon. This is more useful for planning,” he said.
  • The IMD also said it was developing a separate forecast for the Monsoon Core Zone (MCZ), which represents most of the rain-fed agriculture region in the country.
  • “A separate forecast for the MCZ will be more useful for agricultural planning and crop yield estimation, etc. In the second stage forecast in May, IMD will issue a separate probabilistic forecast for the MCZ, based on MME [Multi Model Ensemble] system and a new statistical model,” said a statement.
  • Roxy Mathew Koll, climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, tweeted that the reduction in rainfall in eastern India has been consistently decreasing. For an adequate monsoon, it is important for a temperature gradient to be present between the ocean and the land.
  • In recent years, however, the India Ocean has been warming faster than the land surface, reducing this temperature differential and affecting the monsoonal flow.

Source: TH

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