Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 25.12.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 25.12.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 25.12.21

Q1. Consider the following statements about Agricultural emissions in India

  1. Greenhouse gas emission from agriculture are negligible 
  2. Agricultural emissions are mostly due to cattle production system, rice cultivation and ruminant meat

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : b

Why is the Question ?

Agricultural emissions in India

  1. In India agriculture and livestock accounts for 18% of gross national emissions, the third-highest sector after energy and industry.
  2. Out of this more than 85% of emissions are due to cattle production system, rice cultivation and ruminant meat and the remaining 15% comes from other crops and nitrous oxide emitted from fertilisers.
  3. Most of the GHG emission from Indian agriculture takes places from states like Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, West Bengal etc.

Q2. Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans. It is estimated that one cubic metre of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic metres of methane. Consider the following statements about the Methane hydrates

  1. Methane hydrate deposits are found in Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin in India
  2. They are abundant in sediment and sedimentary rock units below Arctic permafrost
  3. Increased global warming may release huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : d

Why is the Question ?

Methane hydrates

A study by Agharkar Research Institute, Pune finds massive methane hydrate deposits of biogenic origin in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin and near the coast of Andaman and Mahanadi. 

Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans. It is estimated that one cubic metre of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic metres of methane. 

Methane hydrate is a crystalline solid that consists of a methane molecule surrounded by a cage of interlocking water molecules (see image at the top of this page). Methane hydrate is an "ice" that only occurs naturally in subsurface deposits where temperature and pressure conditions are favourable for its formation. 

If the ice is removed from this temperature/pressure environment, it becomes unstable. For this reason, methane hydrate deposits are difficult to study. They cannot be drilled and cored for a study like other subsurface materials because as they are brought to the surface, the pressure is reduced and the temperature rises. This causes the ice to melt and the methane to escape.

Several other names are commonly used for methane hydrate. These include methane clathrate, hydromethane, methane ice, fire ice, natural gas hydrate, and gas hydrate. Most methane hydrate deposits also contain small amounts of other hydrocarbon hydrates. These include propane hydrate and methane hydrate.

Four Earth environments have the temperature and pressure conditions suitable for the formation and stability of methane hydrate. These are: 

1) sediment and sedimentary rock units below Arctic permafrost; 

2) sedimentary deposits along continental margins; 

3) deep-water sediments of inland lakes and seas;  

4) under Antarctic ice. 

With the exception of the Antarctic deposits, methane hydrate accumulations are not very deep below Earth's surface. In most situations, the methane hydrate is within a few hundred metres of the sediment surface.

Huge amounts of methane are stored around the world on the seafloor in the form of solid methane hydrates. These hydrates represent a large energy reserve for humanity. Climate warming, however, could cause the hydrates to destabilise. The methane, a potent greenhouse gas, would escape unused into the atmosphere and could even accelerate climate change

Q3. The government of India has launched the project Green – Ag. Consider the following statements in this regard

  1. The project seeks to mainstream biodiversity, climate change and sustainable land management practises into Indian agriculture
  2. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility
  3. It covers high-conservation-value landscapes in all states

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : a

Why is the Question ?

The government has launched a Global Environment Facility (GEF) assisted project namely, “Green – Ag: Transforming Indian Agriculture for global environmental benefits and the conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes” in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) during in high-conservation-value landscapes of five States namely 

(i) Madhya Pradesh: Chambal Landscape, 

(ii) Mizoram: Dampa Landscape, 

(iii) Odisha: Similipal Landscape, 

(iv) Rajasthan: Desert National Park Landscape and

v) Uttarakhand: Corbett-Rajaji Landscape. 

The project seeks to mainstream biodiversity, climate change and sustainable land management objectives and practises into Indian agriculture. The overall objective of the project is to catalyse a transformative change of India’s agricultural sector to support the achievement of national and global environmental benefits and conservation of critical biodiversity and forest landscapes. The project will support harmonisation between India's agricultural and environmental sector priorities and investments so that the achievement of national and global environmental benefits can be fully realised without compromising India's ability to strengthen rural livelihoods and meet its food and nutrition security.

Mizoram is one of the five states where the project will be implemented. Other states include Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

The project is designed to achieve multiple global environmental benefits in at least 1.8 million hectares (ha) of land in five landscapes, with mixed land-use systems. It aims to bring at least 104,070 ha of farms under sustainable land and water management.

The project will also ensure 49 million Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) sequestered or reduced through sustainable land use and agricultural practises.

The Green-Ag Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, while the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is the national executing agency. Other key players involved in its implementation are the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

The pilot project is supposed to end on March 31, 2026, in all states, including Mizoram, where the project covers 145,670 ha of land in two districts — Lunglei and Mamit. It aims to cover 35 villages and includes two protected areas — the Dampa Tiger Reserve and the Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Q4. Consider the following statements about Organic Farming in India

  1. India is the country with the highest number of organic producers
  2. Sikkim is the first fully organic state in the world
  3. India has the highest area under organic cultivation

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : a

Why is the Question ?

Recently, India has been ranked first in the number of organic farmers as per the ‘The World of Organic Agriculture, 2020’ report.

The World of Organic Agriculture - Statistics & Emerging Trends 2020 is released by The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL).

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) is one of the world’s leading institutes in the field of organic agriculture. FiBL’s strengths lie in its interdisciplinary research, thanks to its innovations developed jointly with farmers and the food industry as well as in its solution-oriented development projects and rapid knowledge transfer from research into practice.

Status of Organic Farming in India

  1. India is home to 30% of the total organic producers in the world and ranks ninth in terms of area under organic farming, 2.59% of the total organic cultivation area (57.8 million hectares).
  2. The number of organic producers was reported to be around 2.8 million according to data from 186 countries (data as of the end of 2018). India continues to be the country with the highest number of producers, followed by Uganda and Ethiopia.
  3. Major organic exports from India: flax seeds, sesame, soybean, tea, medicinal plants, rice, and pulses etc
  4. Sikkim is the first fully organic state in the world.

Q5. Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL) were seen in the news recently, these are

  1. Mining technologies
  2. Green Crackers
  3. Bio-Fertilizers 
  4. Oil Spill controllers

Answer : b

Why is the Question ?

In recent years, the Supreme Court ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and “green crackers” can be manufactured and sold. The court observed that efforts have gone into producing such crackers.

“Green crackers'' are so named because they “do not contain harmful chemicals” that would cause air pollution. Components in firecrackers are replaced with others that are “less dangerous” and “less harmful” to the atmosphere.

CSIR-CECRI has developed flower pots by using “eco-friendly materials” that can potentially reduce particulate matter by 40%. CSIR-NEERI is testing the efficacy of bijli crackers by “eliminating the use of ash as desiccants”. Scientists have also developed potential sound-emitting functional prototypes that do not emit sulphur dioxide and are testing a prototype of flower pots substituting barium nitrate with an eco-friendly version.

Scientists have given these crackers names: Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL). “It has the unique property of releasing water vapour and/or air as dust suppressant and diluent for gaseous emissions and matching performance in sound with conventional crackers,” researchers say. The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation is testing and analysing these crackers for safety and stability.

Some manufacturers have been shown such results. They have been successfully demonstrated in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, a hub for the fireworks industries. The idea this year was to use a material that is inexpensive. 

E-crackers or electric crackers are also being tested by a team from CSIR-CEERI in Pilani. However, feedback from manufacturers has not been encouraging, with some pointing out that it will sound like listening to a recording of firecrackers instead, scientists say.