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October 2019 - Environment

  • The researchers from IIT Hyderabad and KIIT School of Architecture, Bhubaneswar have developed bio- bricks from agricultural waste. The product serves dual purposes of development of eco-friendly sustainable material and also waste management. The bricks are made from agro-waste like wheat straw, paddy straw, sugarcane bagasse and cotton plant. Bio-bricks are more sustainable than clay bricks.

  • The Union government plans to make Ladakh the first Indian union territory (UT) to run entirely on renewable energy. The newly carved out union territory has already about 30 megawatts (MW) of small hydro projects, and the government wants to install solar generation units to meet all its power demand from renewable energy sources. Ladakh was made an independent union territory after the government recently revoked Article 370.

    The Daily solar power generation potential in most The part of the country is in the range of 3-5 units per square meter, the same in Leh-Ladakh can be 6-8 units, thanks to high ‘irradiance’ factor. The impediments of land availability and acquisition are also much lower. The Sunshine is available for about 300 days in a year, and clear skies result in the very high value of solar radiation, resulting in a high plant load factor for the solar power stations located in the place.

    The government is targetting to achieve 4,50,000 MW of renewable energy capacity, as announced recently by the Prime Minister, the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This target is expected to be achieved by 2030. Before that, the government is currently working to meet the deadline for installing 175 GW of renewable energy is December 31, 2022. The installed renewable capacity now stands at 82.6 GW.

  • The first micro composting centre (MCC) was inaugurated by Minister of Cooperation Sellur K. Raju next to the crematorium at Thathaneri, Tamil Nadu. The facility will ensure that Madurai becomes a clean city and also binless. The centre, built at a cost of 80 lakh under the Swachh Bharat Mission, has 12 pits which will compost organic waste using the aerobic method.

  • CSIR develops green crackers. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has come up with new and improved formulations in the manufacture of sound-emitting crackers and other fireworks keeping in view the pollution hazard and health risks.

    Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan displayed some of the popular products like flower pots, pencils, chakkar and sparklers, developed by CSIR, at a press conference in New Delhi. He announced that the products developed by CSIR are available in the market for consumers and for the sellers. The Minister said that nearly 230 MoUs and 165 Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs) have been signed with the manufacturers of fireworks.

    The new formulations for green crackers were based on the suggestions made by the Supreme Court. The price of the new products is either less or equal to their market value. CSIR has developed new formulations for reduced emission light and sound emitting crackers with a 30 per cent reduction in particulate matter using Potassium Nitrate as an oxidant.

  • The ambitious Pradhan Mantri Innovation Learning Programme - DHRUV - will kick start at ISRO in Bengaluru on 10 October, 2019 and conclude on 24th October, 2019 at IIT, Delhi. Sixty brightest and talented students from Science, Mathematics and Performing Arts have been chosen for the programme. It aims to further sharpen innovative imagination, skills and knowledge of the students who are expected to contribute to bringing solutions to socio-economic, political and environmental issues in the country. After getting training, the students can contribute to making the vision of a 5-trillion dollar economy a reality and also provide solution to climate change. Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister and the ISRO Chairman are expected to participate in the event.

  • The first-of-its-kind 'Garbage Cafe' commenced in Ambikapur city of Chhattisgarh. The cafĂ© is being run by the Ambikapur municipal corporation. In this unique Cafe, poor people and rag pickers will get free food in exchange for one kilogram of plastic, while breakfast will be provided if half a kilogram of plastic is brought to the cafe.

  • New 'cat snake' species discovered. A team of biodiversity researchers has discovered a new species of ‘cat snake’ in Maharashtra’s Western Ghats —making it the first such discovery in 125 years. The species has been named ‘Thackeray’s cat snake’, (scientific name Boiga thackerayi), after Tejas Thackeray. The snake feeds exclusively on tree frogs and their eggs.

  • India is hosting the Second Lead Author Meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report at New Delhi. The IPCC authors and scientists are working to deliver the most relevant and up-to-date research on climate change mitigation. More than 200 experts/authors including 12 from India and others from around 65 countries are expected to participate in this week-long meeting at New Delhi. The Building on previous Working Group III assessments, this report will emphasize what can be done in the near term to mitigate climate change, and how mitigation actions can be enabled through policy, institution-building and finance.



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