1) India, World Bank sign loan agreement to scale-up India’s energy efficiency programme:

Theme: Energy efficiency programme


  • The Union Government and World Bank signed a $220 million loan agreement and an $80 million guarantee agreement for the India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up programme.
  • The programme will be implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
  • It will help in scale-up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional capacity and enhance its access to commercial financing.
  • The programme will largely tackle the financing, awareness, technical and capacity barriers faced by new energy efficiency programmes and support the Union Government’s UJALA programme.
  • It will help increase private sector participation in energy efficiency, including through private sector energy service companies.
  • The investments under the programme are expected to help avoid lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of 170 million tons of CO2 and contribute to avoiding an estimated 10 GW of additional generation capacity.
  • This would be over 50 percent of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency target of 19.6 GW indicated in India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Accord.


  • The energy efficiency programme is one of the several steps taken by the Union Government to meet its climate change commitments to reduce carbon intensity by 33-35 per cent by 2030.
  • It will help India meet its NDC commitments and move further towards a more resource-efficient growth path.
  • The financing under the India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Program will not only help EESL to continue achieving the results under its existing initiatives but also strengthen its institutional capacity and ability to meet its future expanding needs by leveraging private energy service companies (ESCO) industry and increased access to a wider range of external commercial financing sources.

2) India's most polluted : 30% have no clearance

Theme: Pollution

Status of India's pollution control:

  • A good number of India’s most polluted cities are not too keen to clean up their act, according to a list maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • Of the 102 cities singled out by the Centre for their alarming pollution levels, only 73 have submitted a plan of remedial action to the CPCB.
  • Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Jaipur are among the prominent cities that are yet to submit their plans.
  • the World Health Organisation said that Delhi and Varanasi were among 14 Indian cities that figured in a global list of the 20 most polluted cities in terms of PM2.5 levels.

way forward:

  • These so called ‘Non-attainment cities’ were among those marked out by the CPCB and asked – as part of the National Clean Air Campaign (NCAP) – to implement 42 measures aimed at mitigating air pollution. These included steps such as implementing control and mitigation measures related to vehicular emissions, re-suspension of road dust and other fugitive emissions, bio-mass, municipal solid waste burning, industrial pollution, and construction and demolition activities. The aim of pollution mitigation measures was to cut overall pollution in these cities by 35% in the next three years.
  • The National clean air programme (NCAP) also envisions setting up 1,000 manual air-quality-monitoring stations (a 45% increase from the present number) and 268 automatic stations (from 84 now). “Some cities submitted plans but didn’t fill out particulars, such as timelines, and so they had to be returned.

Note:     The non-attainment cities are those that have fallen short of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for over five years.

3) Drying of River Ganga

Theme: SANDHI initiative

  •  SandHI (Science and Heritage Interface), a science-culture initiative uses technology for preservation, archival, development and scientific exploration of our heritage.
  • Under this SANDHI initiative IIT-Kharagpur carried a study on river systems and its relationship with settlement systemAccording to recent conducted by IIT-Kharagpur , River Ganga has witnessed unprecedented low levels of water in several lower reaches in last few summer seasons.
  • It used combination of satellite images of ground water levels of Ganga, numerical stimulations  and chemical analyses to draw the conclusion.
  • Drying of Ganga river in recent years during summer seasons is possibly related to ground water depletion in gangetic aquifers.
  • In forthcoming summers, for next 30 years, ground water contribution to river Ganga will continue decreasing. This trend can lead to food scarcity for 115 million people in Ganga basin.

Importance of Initiative:

  • It can help general public understand wider implications of ground water depletion.
  • It also helpful to Policy makers and Global change community.
  • The study provides quantitative data for future planning of water resources projects in Ganga basin.

3) Millions risk malnutrition as  CO2 levels climb : study

Theme: Impact of Climate change:

  • Research says that Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air threaten to sap wheat, rice, and other staple grains of valuable nutrients, raising the spectre of mass malnutrition.
  • On current trends, higher CO2 concentrations could reduce iron, zinc and protein levels in the crops that feed the world by up to 17% by mid-century.
  • The global food system is also vulnerable to rising temperatures, prolonged drought, and other forms of extreme weather driven by climate change.
  • Impacts include reduced crop yields, heat-stressed livestock, and shifts in the quantity and location of commercially-fished ocean species.
  • Wheat, rice and maize together account for roughly 40% of protein, zinc and iron supply in the diet worldwide.
  • It is found that nearly 2% of the global population could become zinc deficient.
  • Hundreds of millions of people could become newly deficient in these nutrients, primarily in Africa, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East. These are in addition to the billions of people already deficient that could see their condition worsen

Impact on Health:

Protein, along with the minerals iron and zinc, are essential nutrients for normal human growth and development.  Zinc deficiency affects the immune system and makes children, particularly, more vulnerable to malaria, lung infections and deadly diarrhoeal diseases.  A lack of iron increases the likelihood of mothers dying during childbirth, can lower IQ, and causes anaemia, or a drop in red blood cells.

Way Forward:

  • All countries should stick to targets of Paris agreement.
  • Co-operation of global countries in bringing sustainable technology to mitigate climate change.
  • Focussing on alternative energy resources and fasten the research on exploring Bio-fuels.
  • using public transport
  • Planting trees through National Green high way mission.