Current Affairs - December, 2018

Latest Current Affairs December, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of December, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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India to submit 2nd biennial report on greenhouse gas inventory to UNFCCC

India is mandated to submit a biennial update report containing updates of national greenhouse gas inventories and information on mitigation actions, needs and support received as a party to UNFCC.

The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi has approved the submission of second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), giving India’s national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory of 2014.

India’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2014

The Biennial Update Report contains five major components National Circumstances, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Mitigation Actions; Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Needs and Support Received and Domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) arrangements. The BUR reports following figures about India’s greenhouse gas emissions:

  • In India, a total of 26,07,488 gigagram (Gg) CC-2 equivalent or around 2.607 billion tonnes of CC-2 equivalent of GHGs were emitted from all activities, excluding ‘land use, land use change and forestry’ (LULUCF) in 2014.
  • Net national GHG emissions after including LULUCF were 23,06,295 Gg CO2 equivalent or around 2.306 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • Energy sector accounted for 73 per cent, industrial processes and product use (IPPU) 8 per cent, agriculture 16 per cent and waste sector 3 per cent of emissions.
  • India is on course for achieving the target for emission intensity of the economy and share of non-fossil fuel-based power capacity.

India’s commitments under the Paris Agreement

India advocating the principle of common burden differential responsibility according to the respective capability has made three important commitments under the INDC. They are:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity of India’s GDP by 33-35 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • 40 per cent of India’s power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel sources.
  • Creating an additional ‘carbon sink’ of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Co2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

India’s commitments under the INDC’s are seen as most ambitious ones under the current circumstances.

Month: Categories: Environment

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Union Cabinet Approves amendments to POCSO Act

The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The amendments are proposed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Amendments Proposed

POSCO is a gender-neutral law protects both boys and girls under the age of 18. The amendments proposed are:

  • The amendments provide for stringent punishment, including the death penalty, for committing aggravated penetrative sexual assault crime on a child, both boys and girls, below the age of 18.
  • The amendments extend the punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault from a minimum of 10 years to a minimum of 20 years, up to a maximum of life imprisonment and even the death penalty.
  • The amendments are proposed to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities and disasters.
  • The amendment also proposes to alter the definition of sexual assault to include administering hormones to children expedite their sexual maturity for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

Why the amendments were proposed?

The Ministry of Women and Child Development cites the reports of rapes of young girls in the aftermath of Kedarnath floods. Data shows that children constitute 50-60% of victims of calamities. Hence there was a need to add rapes in course of natural calamities as the 21st category under aggravated penetrative sexual assault.

The cabinet has approved the death penalty for those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 under IPC. But IPC is not gender neutral. Since POSCO is a gender-neutral law the amendments widen the range of cases of sexual assault against boys and girls under 18 that are now punishable by death.

Is law a deterrent?

Government proposes that amendments will further enhance the deterrence against sexual assault on children. But the data shows that less than 3% of all POCSO cases end in convictions and experts further warn against the chilling effect the death penalty may have on reporting the crime. Hence it can be said that law by itself will not be a deterrent but systemic changes in law enforcement and prosecution hold the key to tackling child sexual abuse.

Month: Categories: Bills & Acts

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