The News Editorial Analysis 25 October 2021

The News Editorial Analysis 25 October 2021

E-waste disposal, a mounting headache for town

The News Editorial Analysis 25 October 2021

For a bit over 10 years, Sakir Mohammad, a ragpicker within the metropolis’s Patparganj Industrial Area, has been accumulating digital waste from close by corporations. A rising concern for Delhi regardless of measures in place for assortment and recycling, the trade has been depending on casual gamers like ragpickers for e-waste disposal.

As per the info supplied by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), 39 pickup requests had been made for e-waste assortment to Attero Recycling, a personal agency roped in by the municipal physique, from July 29 to September 30 this 12 months. However, 25 of those requests had been cancelled. Only “12 pickups were done” and “129.97 kilograms” of e-waste had been collected in the course of the interval. It additional stated that “lots of calls” had been made for “picking up material in working condition” and that customers’ “expectation of cost was high”.

Lack of consciousness

EDMC Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal stated that “people lacked awareness”. “We are working to create awareness through various mediums and by getting in touch with resident welfare associations. I agree that a significant portion of the e-waste goes to the informal sector, and they are also welcome to join the formal sector, but only if they meet the requirements,” he stated, including that extra personal gamers for e-waste assortment might be invited within the close to future. South Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Mukesh Suryan stated “they have already taken the initiative” to gather e-waste by a personal participant. “It will take some time for people to understand and follow the system. We are trying to create awareness regarding collection and recycling of e-waste in colonies through various methods. We have an online portal which people can make use of,” he stated.

Staggering numbers

According to a 2018 report by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), India had generated shut to 2 million metric tonnes of e-waste, with a good portion of the waste going to the casual sector. Delhi was among the many prime e-waste contributors within the nation with 9.5% and a future estimate of three million metric tonnes in India was quoted.

Thirty-year-old Mohammad is one among the many metropolis’s many casual waste collectors, who collects previous and unusable digital objects with common scrap supplies. “I collect whatever comes in the scrap, including old phones, air conditioner parts and compressors. Once collected, I sell it to whoever is willing to buy — mostly shopkeepers who want to resell it. Otherwise, I send the remaining waste to a place near the Ghazipur Dairy Farm,” stated Mr. Mohammad, who has no information of what occurs to the e-waste after he sells it.

While Mr. Mohammad stated he doesn’t have a licence to gather e-waste, he’s not eager on buying one. “Sometimes, I end up paying a meagre fine to the municipal corporation authorities but the matter does not escalate beyond that. I have monthly expenses to maintain my business, which includes paying police officers every month. They keep our set-up safe when we are not around and also give us tip-offs prior to any raids that are going to be conducted by civic bodies,” he stated.

Sahil Khan, an e-waste collector of previous pc components, wonders “what happens to the e-waste generated by big tech companies”.

“We follow a system where we dismantle the waste we collect and recycle it at plants outside Delhi. We also keep a record by taking videos of the recycling process. Every electronic waste item has a different method of dismantling and recycling, but one should visit the recycling plants that handle e-waste from big tech firms,” Mr. Khan stated, including that he suspected a foul play of their means of dealing with the waste.

Broader points

In town’s Seelampur, a hub of the casual sector, one can see scores of native outlets promoting outdated and discarded digital waste, from previous cell phones, cellphone batteries to motherboards, arduous disks, fridges and compressors. A shopkeeper within the space stated he handled “old mobile phones” which he would dismantle and promote “to buyers who resell the same in the market”. “We only dismantle and sell the core parts of the device; we sell it in bulk quantities and the demand for these parts is quite high,” he stated.

A cart puller, who often transports the waste to those outlets, stated, “We only pick up and drop the waste as instructed. For us, it is a matter of daily earnings and we do not get into the specifics of what happens after that.”Satish Sinha, affiliate director at Toxics Link, a city-based group specializing in environmental points, stated the function of casual gamers can’t be denied and they need to be included as a part of the answer.

“Some role has to be assigned to the informal players, maybe for collection, transportation or aggregating the waste. They need to be made legal entities. The moment they get covered by the law, this whole business of informality and hiding will not be required. They can operate better that way and some taxes can also be collected from them,” Mr. Sinha stated.

India’s Central Asian outreachAfghanistan’s situation has thrown up challenges for New Delhi.

The dramatic developments in Afghanistan have catalysed new geostrategic and geo-economics concerns for the region. This has thrown up renewed challenges for India’s regional and bilateral ties with Central Asia and the Caucasus, prompting India to recalibrate its rules of engagement with the region.

     External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was in the region earlier this month — his third within a span of four months.

  • In Kyrgyzstan, India extended a credit line of $200 millionfor the support of development projects and signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) on High-Impact Community Development Projects (HICDP).
  • In Kazakhstancapital, Nur Sultan, Jaishankar attended the 6th Foreign Ministers’ Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), where -He targeted China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), admonishing China’s methods in promoting the BRI.While he said, greater connectivity was essential for the promotion of regional stability, it must not be pursued for parochial interests. He also confronted Pakistan for its support towards cross-border terrorism. Mr. Jaishankar met his counterparts from RussiaUzbekistan and Turkmenistan to discuss regional cooperation.

 India-Armenia ties: Mr. Jaishankar has become the first Indian External Affairs Minister to visit Armenia. Agreements include –

Both countries to enhance trade and cultural exchanges to boost bilateral relations. India supported efforts for a peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk group. 

Impact of Taliban’s takeover in Central Asia:

 Failure of SCO: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which was created in response to the threats of terrorism that sprang from Afghanistan, has instead been used by most member countries for their own regional geostrategic and security interests. There is an increasing the trust-deficit and divergence within the forum as the SCO failed to collectively respond to the Afghan crisis which met in Turkmenistan in August.

  • Afghanistan is ethnically diverse: Its population holds Tajiks, Uzbeks, Pamiri and several other hill tribes of the central Asia. Thus these regions have emotional connect with the situation in Afghanistan.
  • About Central Asia: It is a group of 5 countries: Kazakhstan, UzbekistanTurkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; Sandwiched between Caspian Sea and China; and Between Russia in the north, an Iran-Afghanistan in the south.

Indian interests in Central Asia 

  • Energy security: Hydrocarbons (example TAPI (Turkmenistan  Afghanistan Pakistan India) pipeline), Uranium in Uzbekistan and Kazakhistan.
  • Connectivity: International North South Transport Corridor(INSTC); Reduced cost of transit to Russia.
  • Strategic: Route to Europe, Important in Stabilizing Afghanistan.
  • Economic: Trade; Creating returns for Chabahar.
  • Diplomatic: Countering China: Giving these countries an option to counterbalance China
  • Security: RATS in SCO, Prabal Dostyk with Kazakhistan.

Engagement after cold war:

  • Reset ties after breakup of the Soviet Union: It had led to the formation of the independent republics in Central Asia.
  • Financial aid: India provided financial aid to the region and established diplomatic relations.
  • Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPA) Model of engagement: New Delhi signed the SPAs with Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to stimulate defence cooperation and deepen trade relations.
  • ‘Connect Central Asia’: In 2012, New Delhi’s ‘Connect Central Asia’ policy aimed at furthering India’s political, economic, historical and cultural connections with the region.
  • Summit level meet: Soon after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited all the Central Asian countries in July 2015. Eventually, Central Asia became the link that placed Eurasia in New Delhi’s zone of interest.
  • Investment centred around Chabahar project: India signed MoUs with Iran in 2015 to develop the Chabahar port in the Sistan-Baluchistan province that was in the doldrums from 2003.


Connectivity: India’s efforts are stonewalled by Pakistan’s lack of willingness to allow India passage through its territory.

  • BRI: China took advantage of the situation and unveiled the much-hyped BRI in Kazakhstan.The growing geostrategic and security concerns regarding the BRI’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its violation of India’s sovereignty.

Opportunities and Way forward:

  • Willingness of CentralAsian countries: They have been keen to have India as a partner as they have sought to diversify their strategic ties, being in influence of China and Russia.  Most of the Central Asian leaders view India’s Chabahar port as an opportunity to diversify their export markets and control China’s ambitions.
  • Connectivity: They have admitted New Delhi into the Ashgabat Agreement, allowing India access to connectivity networks to facilitate trade and commercial interactions with both Central Asia and Eurasia, and also access the natural resources of the region.
  • Rising anti-Chinese sentimentswithin the region and security threats from the Taliban allow New Delhi and Central Asia to reimagine their engagement. India cannot afford to lose any time in recalibrating its regional engagements.

In Glasgow, all eyes on 2030:

COP26 must focus sharply on reducing emissions till 2030, rather than on net zero 2050, which is too distant a goal. 

 The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, starting October 31.

Two major issues are abuzz before the meet:

  1. Net zero emissions by 2050e., greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions equaling absorption by sinks such as forests, even though the substance is much less than the slogan suggests.
  2. Carbon Pricing: an instrument that captures the external costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is levied on the Carbon emitters and is used as a relief against the loss occurred due to Climate Change. It is based on Polluter Pays principle.

Net zero mirage:  Why 2030 NDC targets are more important than Net Zero 2050 targets. 

  • The AR6 report:the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) emphasised that to keep temperature rise within 1.5°C, global emissions should be reduced by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, on the way to net zero 2050.
  • Agreed principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR): a foundational principle of UNFCCC. Developed countries, responsible for over 75% of accumulated atmospheric GHGs causing climate change, should shoulder most of the burden for reducing emissions. So, if the goal is global net zero emissions by 2050, CBDR would imply that developed countries should reach net zero by, say, 2035-40, while developing countries can get there later.
  • It takes away focus from NDCs: Net zero 2050, as currently posed, is at best a distracting message and at worst deliberately diverts attention away from the urgent 2030 target that COP26 should focus on. 
  • 2030 targets critical: One hundred and thirteen parties out of 194 submitted updated NDCs by end-July 2021. The UN NDC report tells us that even accounting for these, global emissions in 2030 are expected to be 16.3% above the 2010 level, whereas the IPCC has called for 2030 emissions to be 45% less from 2010 levels for the 1.5°C goal. The report therefore calls for “a significant increase in the level of ambition of NDCs” till 2030.
  • For the sake of least developed countries: Pressure will undoubtedly come from Africa, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island States and others.
  • For the sake of earlier commitments under UNFCCC: It was suggested some years ago that the COP ensures that Parties iteratively raise their commitments till they add up to the requisite 45% reduction by 2030. This is hardly focussed upon currently.

Major Global violators today:

  • US’s gross violation: The U.S. has now promised net zero emissions by 2050 compared to the 80% reduction that it had promised earlier. The Biden administration has also promised to reduce emissions by 50–52% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is grossly insufficient as the U.S. is the world’s second largest emitter. Further,  the 2005 baseline is considerably lower than those of the EU, the U.K. and others using the Kyoto 1990 baseline.
  • Brazilunder Jair Bolsonaro ravaging the Amazon forests, and
  • China, the world’s largest emitter, which is relentlessly pushing towards more emissions to add maximum infrastructure, industrial and power-generation capacities before peaking in 2030. This may use up much of the cumulative global emissions available for 1.5°C.

Challenges for India:

  • Needs for India: India emits 7% of global emissions, has extremely low per-capita emissions that are far below the global average and yet ranks as the world’s third largest emitter.
  • Delay in finalizing commitments: India has not yet submitted its updated NDC as required and may face difficulties at Glasgow, especially from LDCs and most vulnerable countries feeling existentially threatened even as powerful nations wheel and deal.
  • Poor performance: The well-known website Climate Tracker has now placed India in its second- worst performing category of countries regarding conformity with global 1.5°C goals, down from the top category for 2°C just after the Paris Agreement.

Way forward for India:

  • Raising targets further: India can, without much difficulty, raise its NDC pledge of reducing Emissions Intensity (ratio of emissions to GDP) by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030 to 38-40%. This is quite achievable since India has been averaging around 2% p.a. reduction in EI as per its own NDC.
  • Net Zero Offer: India could also offer to achieve that by 2070-75, invoking CBDR and comparing well with China’s 2060 pledge.
  • Targets for Peaking emission: If pressed on a peaking year, a 2040-45 guesstimate may not be far off the mark, especially if increasing forest and tree cover are stepped up instead of undermined.
  • Installing renewable energy: For India to convert its ambitions of installing 450GW of renewable power by 2030, adding green hydrogen or increasing electric vehicles into commitments may require more homework than done so far.

Certain Positives:

Greater contribution of EU & UK: Several large emitters have announced deeper emission cuts than in the Paris Agreement. The U.K. and the European Union have raised their targets to a significant 68% and 55%, respectively, compared with 1990 levels by 2030.

Carbon Budget Strategy:

  • More scientific strategy: as highlighted in AR6 and AR5.
  • Carbonbudgets represent the quantum of CO2 the atmosphere can hold for a given global temperature, best assessed through cumulative emissions and not annual flows.
  • AR5 & AR6’s assessment: The report of updated NDCs states that “the cumulative CO2 emissions in 2020–2030 based on the latest NDCs would likely use up 89% of the remaining carbon budget, leaving a post-2030 carbon budget of around 55 Gt CO2, which is equivalent to the average annual CO2 emissions in 2020–2030.”

Conclusion: COP26 must focus sharply on reducing emissions till 2030, rather than on net zero 2050, which is too distant and with possibilities of gaming the system. If COP26 does not focus on achieving the 45% emission cuts from 2010 levels required by 2030 for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C, and continues with geopolitics as usual, then the world may well have squandered away one of its last chances to avert disastrous climate impacts.

 Punjab uses tech against illicit brewing.

§  What is the News?

Earlier, Punjab’s Excise Department has launched Operation Red Rose to curb illicit liquor trading and excise-related crimes. The operation is bearing fruitful results.

§  What is Operation Red Rose?

Operation Red Rose was launched to ensure that there should not be illicit or illegal movement of liquor in Punjab. 

As part of the operation, Punjab Government has taken several measures such as 

  • Making the entire manufacturing process of liquor online, which is monitored in real-time
  • A separate control room for team members to monitor the quantity, brand of the liquor being processed at a given manufacturing unit.
  • Flow-meters in bottling plants
  • QR code-based passes
  • GPS-enabled transport vehicles and 
  • e-transit passes.
·         What is the significance of the operation?

The operation has curbed different modules of excise theft such as the direct supply of liquor from the manufacturing unit without paying excise duty; liquor smuggling from neighbouring States and preparing liquor in villages especially in the areas adjacent to rivers.

Moreover, the operation has also led to a rise in revenue and an increase in the number of FIRs and arrests, besides the rise in conviction rate. 

PM to launch key healthcare scheme from Varanasi today.

PMASBY aims to fill gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both urban and rural areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited his constituency Varanasi ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022 and launched the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission worth Rs 64,180 crore, to strengthen the health care infrastructure across the country.In a statement, the PMO said Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) would be one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure and will be in addition to the National Health Mission.


The News Editorial Analysis 24 October 2021

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