Policy-makers should look at nuclear power option | Statesman
2017-2040: India’s energy consumption will rise by 156%
Over 80% energy is produced from fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) in India.
They create create major greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Causing air pollution
Harsh climate impacts
It is predicted that global fossil fuel dependency will decrease to 13% by 2040.
To fill this gap, nonconventional and sustainable energy generation such as solar power, wind, hydro, geothermal and nuclear energy need to be pushed forward.
Nuclear power can be an emerging clean energy source in India.
It is a sustainable, environmentally friendly and economically viable option which can replace fossil fuel-derived energy and augment renewable energy sources.
The economy of power generation is analysed according to “Levelised Cost of Electricity” (LCOE).
LCOE accounts for the overall building cost, cost of operation and the cost of waste management in respect to the overall electricity output of the station over its lifetime.
Radioactive waste management plays a crucial role in de-popularising nuclear power.
The spent radioactive fuel accounts for 3% of total waste but is responsible for 95% of total radioactivity.
There are several methods to ‘seal off’ this waste and these methods are being used effectively across the globe.
World politics makes it difficult to set up nuclear power station.
Sale of nuclear fuel
Transfer of technology
EU-27 nations: 28% source from nuclear
US: 19.6% from nuclear source
As of January 2020, India’s installed nuclear power capacity is about 1.84% of the total national energy generation capacity of 3,68,690 megawatts.
India’s national target is to increase nuclear power generation capability to 22,400 megawatts by 2031.
Digest the irony | Telegraph
With no end to the pandemic in sight, people have now begun to worry about the different kinds of economic and social effects of Covid-19 more than about the disease itself.
The World Food Programme of the United Nations has warned that there could be famines of biblical proportions in some parts of the world.
It is ironic that there is no aggregate shortage of food in the world.
The distribution and access to food, however, cause severe distress.
In a terribly unequal world, increasing levels of wastage have been accompanied by food scarcity and hunger.
Hunger is something more than starvation.
Health experts emphasize the need for a balanced diet in which there are optimum amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates along with minerals and vitamins.
An absence of this balance causes malnutrition that can have adverse long-term consequences similar to undernutrition when there is a shortage in total availability.
Hunger has remained familiar to the world despite the increased production of food, better agrarian technology, improvements in trade and communications, and a reduction in the number of people living in absolute poverty.
Concerns about the shortage of food induced by climate change
Rich countries - surplus food ends up in garbage dumps
In poor countries like India – we do not have enough storage facilities that can preserve perishable food like fruits and vegetables.
In India, the wastage, according to government sources, is estimated to be around 16-20% of all produce, especially fruits and vegetables and oilseeds.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the global extent of food wastage annually is of the order of 1.3 billion tonnes, which is approximately 33 per cent of the total food produced for human consumption.
This quantum is valued at USD 2.6 trillion, and is deemed sufficient to feed about 815 million hungry people.
Pandemic seriously disrupted supply chains
Affluent people who could afford food started to buy in panic
A large number of people found their jobs gone, or incomes slashed
Food inflation is at abnormally high rates from China to the United States of America, from India to Brazil
According to the World Bank, more than 100 million people have already slipped into extreme poverty since March 2020.
The WFP estimates that half-a-billion people might slide back into poverty by the time the pandemic ends. International trade normally moves enough maize, wheat, rice and soybeans to feed 2.8 billion people every year.
Other countries have imposed export restrictions on food grains in an effort to ensure sufficient domestic availability.
Out of the 20 worst-hit countries, 17 are in sub-Saharan Africa where the cost of a basic meal has increased to 186 per cent of an average worker’s daily wage.
According to Oxfam, 55 million people in 7 countries are facing famine-like conditions.
In India, there are now 38,000 relief camps where 16 million are fed on a daily basis.
It is estimated that 196 million people in India suffer from food insecurity.
In the US, for the first time since the Great Depression, there are food banks where many people are going for the first time in their lives.
The pandemic, the economic collapse, backtracking on climate-change policies, freak weather patterns, forest fires and pests like the locust swarm — all of these do not bode well for the near future.
There is no aggregate shortage yet. It is all about reaching food to the right people at the right time and at the right price.
Cleaning the Yamuna | Tribune
Supreme Court - ensuring a clean-up of the Yamuna
SC has made all states through which the Yamuna passes and the agencies responsible for its clear flow answerable for the discharge of untreated effluents into the river.
That the health and even life of both humans and aquatic species is compromised resultantly makes the lapses criminal.
While responding to the SC notices, each would do well to accept its share of the responsibility in the matter and proceed to fulfil it, rather than indulge in the usual blame game.
A slip by any stakeholder can undo the good work of maintaining cleanliness by the others.
Indeed, the price to be paid in terms of ill-health and treatment for diseases and the economic cost of a degraded environment, flora and fauna far outweighs the cost incurred in curbing river pollution.
The authorities must diligently set things right at the municipal level in order to nip the irritants in the way of proper industrial and human waste management in the bud.
Swift penal action against the offenders is needed before things spin out of control.
Respect for the natural lifelines holds the key for the sustenance of life and livelihoods.
What India can learn from Kenya’s agri experiment | HT
Surprisingly, little of the discussion has drawn on lessons learned from countries.
Recent research at the London School of Economics (LSE) - examining a decade of high-quality farmer-buyer data from Kenya
Kenyan government introduced new laws
Over 20 pieces of legislation were repealed to encourage agri-business participation in crop markets that made up over 70% of small farm incomes
It had its expected impact on the rise of agri-businesses.
Their overall market share as buyers of farm produce almost doubled, reaching 38% by 2010.
During starting phase, many small farmers were selling their produce to these businesses, but 5 years later, many stopped it.
Farmers who were reliant on agri-businesses saw their incomes fall by an average 6%.
What went wrong in Kenya is what farmers in India fear.
Kenyan farmers expected to see productivity gains from selling to agri-businesses, which initially gained market share at the expense of other buyers.
The ease of doing business increased in buying and marketing.
As agri-businesses moved into these new activities, greater investment outlays and hence greater profitability was needed to finance them.
Of course, this is not to say India will have the same experience.
But there are many common problems in smallholder agriculture, such as low productivity, investments and market access, which keep farm incomes low across India.
India has often looked to Kenya for its innovative poverty solutions, such as online payment systems.
A top-down policy, uninformed by bottom-up realities, is unlikely to transform the livelihoods of small farmers.