State of Forest Report 2019

Context India’s forest cover has increased by 3,976 sq km or 0.56% since 2017. For the second successive time since 2007, the biennial State of Forest Report (SFR) recorded a gain — an impressive 1,275 sq km — in dense forest (including Very Dense Forest with a canopy density of over 70%, Read More …

Delhi gets its first smog tower

Context In November, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and the Delhi government to prepare a plan to install ‘smog towers’ across the capital to deal with air pollution. What is a ‘smog tower’, how does the one at Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar work? Smog towers are structures designed to work as Read More …

What carbon numbers mean for climate target

Context The State of Forest Report (SFR) 2019, while showing an increase in the carbon stock trapped in Indian forests in the last two years, also shows why it is going to be an uphill task for India in meeting one of its international obligations on climate change. India, as part Read More …

California’s data privacy law

Context California’s new privacy law — the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) — is first-of-its-kind data legislation. As users’ data are increasingly commodified by technology conglomerates, the law — which went into effect on January 1 — gives Californians new controls over how companies use their data. These controls include Read More …

First Advance Estimates

Context According to the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), India’s gross domestic product will grow by just 5 per cent in the current financial year (2019-20). Last financial year, 2018-19, the Indian economy grew at 6.8 per cent. The gross value added (GVA), which maps the Read More …

Decade-wise increase in area, productivity and usage of fertilisers

Context The Rabi season (October to March) sowing is just over in Punjab where around 39.71 lakh hectares is dedicated under Rabi crops, mainly wheat crop — which has 35 lakh hectares under it this year, and the remaining area under oilseeds, vegetables, and potato crops. The state has used Read More …

Why EU Green Deal matters?

Context The European Union has come up with a climate action plan when the global climate talks failed to reach key objectives. What is the EU’s plan, how does it compare to others’, and how much remains to be done? The annual climate talks ended in Madrid last week with Read More …

Why ‘carbon market’ is debated

Context Almost halfway through the climate conference in Madrid, one big thing it had to resolve — disagreements over setting up a new carbon market — remains contentious as ever. Carbon markets, which allow for buying and selling of carbon emissions with the objective of reducing global emissions, is an Read More …

Virtual Autopsy

Context It is likely to be possible soon to carry out autopsies without dissecting the body, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told Rajya Sabha. India will be the first country in South and Southeast Asia to carry out these “virtual autopsies”, the Minister said. So what is a virtual autopsy? In Read More …

Wildlife Crime Cases

Context: In 2018, 388 cases of wildlife-related crimes were registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, according to a reply tabled in Parliament by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Facts & Figures: In nearly one in every three cases —123 of the 388 — the species involved was Read More …