• Recently Union Education Minister announced the release of the report of All India Survey on Higher Education 2019-20.
• This Report provides key performance indicators on the current status of Higher education in the country.
Key features of All India Survey on Higher Education Report 2019-20
• Total Enrolment in Higher Education stands at 3.85 crorein 2019-20 as compared to 3.74 crore in 2018-19, registering a growth of 11.36 lakh (3.04 %). Total enrolment was 3.42 crore in 2014-15.
• Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER), the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in Higher Education, in 2019-20 is 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015.
• Gender Parity Index (GPI) in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 1.01 against 1.00 in 2018-19 indicating an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.
• Pupil Teacher Ratio in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 26.
• In 2019-20: Universities: 1,043(2%); Colleges: 42,343(77%) and stand-alone institutions: 11,779(21%).
• 3.38 crore Students enrolled in programmes at under-graduate and post-graduate level. Out of these, nearly 85% of the students (2.85 crore) were enrolled in the six major disciplines such as Humanities, Science, Commerce, Engineering & Technology, Medical Science and IT & Computer.
• The number of students pursuing PhD in 2019-20 is 2.03 lakh against 1.17 lakh in 2014-15.
• The Total Number of Teachers stands at 15,03,156 comprising of 57.5% male and 42.5% female.
• Recently President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at their first meeting, the two leaders inspected documents related to the Atlantic Charter, a declaration signed by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in August 1941.
• Those goals included freer trade, disarmament and the right to self-determination of all people. It is often cited as a cornerstone of the trans-Atlantic special relationship.
• At their meeting, the two leaders plan to sign what they’re calling a new Atlantic Charter, pledging to defend the principles, values, and institutions of democracy and open societies.
About Atlantic Charter
• The Atlantic Charter was a statement issued on 14 August 1941 that set out American and British goals for the world after the end of World War II.
• The joint statement, later dubbed the Atlantic Charter, outlined the aims of the United States and the United Kingdom for the post war world as follows: no territorial aggrandizement, no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people (self-determination), restoration of self-government to those deprived of it, reduction of trade restrictions, global co-operation to secure better economic and social conditions for all, freedom from fear and want, freedom of the seas, and abandonment of the use of force, and disarmament of aggressor nations.
• The charter's adherents signed the Declaration by United Nations on 1 January 1942, which was the basis for the modern United Nations.
• The charter inspired several other international agreements and events that followed the end of the war.
• The dismantling of the British Empire, the formation of NATO, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) all derived from the Atlantic Charter.
The New Atlantic Charter
• Resolve to defend the principles, values, and institutions of democracy and open societies, which drive our own national strength and our alliances.
• We must ensure that democracies – starting with our own – can deliver on solving the critical challenges of our time.
• Intend to strengthen the institutions, laws, and norms that sustain international co-operation to adapt them to meet the new challenges of the 21st century, and guard against those that would undermine them.
• Remain united behind the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. We oppose interference through disinformation or other malign influences, including in elections, and reaffirm our commitment to debt transparency, sustainability and sound governance of debt relief.
• Resolve to harness and protect our innovative edge in science and technology to support our shared security and deliver jobs at home; to open new markets; to promote the development and deployment of new standards and technologies to support democratic values; to continue to invest in research into the biggest challenges facing the world; and to foster sustainable global development.
• Affirm our shared responsibility for maintaining our collective security and international stability and resilience against the full spectrum of modern threats, including cyber threats.
• We have declared our nuclear deterrents to the defence of NATO and as long as there are nuclear weapons, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.
• Commit to continue building an inclusive, fair, climate-friendly, sustainable, rules-based global economy for the 21st century.
• We will strengthen financial stability and transparency, fight corruption and illicit finance, and innovate and compete through high labour and environmental standards.
• The world has reached a critical point where it must act urgently and ambitiously to tackle the climate crisis, protect biodiversity, and sustain nature.
• Our countries will prioritise these issues in all our international action.
• Recognise the catastrophic impact of health crises, and the global good in strengthening our collective defences against health threats.
• We commit to continuing to collaborate to strengthen health systems and advance our health protections, and to assist others to do the same.
Source: The Hindu
• Recently the Delhi Development Authority gave its preliminary approval to the draft Master Plan for Delhi 2041.
• The draft is now in the public domain for objections and suggestions from citizens, after which it will be enforced.
• A master plan of any city is like a vision document by the planners and the land-owning agency of the city, which gives a direction to the future development.
• It includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals keeping in mind the population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use.
• The current master plan of Delhi (Master Plan 2021) expires this year.
What is the Master Plan 2041 for Delhi?
• The draft of the Master Plan for Delhi 2041 comprises two volumes and 22 chapters, which seeks to “foster a sustainable, liveable and vibrant Delhi by 2041”.
• The first volume is an introduction, providing an overview of Delhi in present times, its global and regional positioning, estimates of population, and projections for 2041.
• The draft MPD presents a plan for the city for the next 20 years.
• What are the main focus areas of the master plan?
• In the housing sector, it talks about incentivising rented accommodation by inviting private players and government agencies to invest more, keeping in mind the large migrant population.
• It addresses parking problems and suggests a user pays principle, which means users of all personal motor vehicles, except for non-motorised ones, have to pay for authorised parking facilities, spaces and streets.
How does the master plan tackle the environmental pollution of Delhi?
• The draft plan aims to minimise vehicular pollution through key strategies, including a switch to greener fuels for public transport and adoption of mixed-use of transit-oriented development (also known as TOD).
• It also addresses improving the quality of water, which is taken from the Yamuna river as well as various lakes, natural drains and baolis.
• The draft lays a clear boundary of the buffer zone near the Yamuna river and explores how to develop it. As per the plan, a green buffer of 300-metre width shall be maintained wherever feasible along the entire edge of the river.
How is the Master Plan 2041 different from the 2021 Master Plan?
• The world has gone through a drastic change due to the pandemic, and the growing population has led to shrinking spaces and unemployment.
• The Master Plan 2041 aims to develop common community spaces to provide refuge spots, common kitchens and quarantine space in an emergency.
• To improve the nighttime economy, the plan focuses on cultural festivals, bus entertainment, metro, sports facilities, and retail stores included in Delhi Development Authority (DDA)s Night Life Circuit plan.
• It also proposes to reduce vulnerability to airborne epidemics through decentralised workspaces, mandatory creation of open areas, better habitat design and green-rated developments to reduce dependence on mechanical ventilation systems.
What challenges will its implementation face?
• The master plan on paper looks like a perfect document for the city’s progress.
• However, when the implementing agencies try to replicate it on the ground, they face challenges like confrontation from political wings, lack of resources and funds, corruption in different departments, lack of political and bureaucratic will and multiplicity of agencies.
• For instance, despite talks of increasing surface parking, removing junk vehicles, imposing fines for dumping debris, garbage burning, and segregation of waste, a lot of these things could never be implemented.
• In some cases like, increasing parking or increasing its charges, there is resistance from politicians due to vote-bank politics.
• In other cases, lack of funds and improper implementation mar the projects.
Source: Indian Express
• The government of India has advanced the target for 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol (also called E20) to 2025 from 2030.
• E20 will be rolled out from April 2023.
• This measure is aimed at reducing the country oil import bill and carbon dioxide pollution.
• This new initiative is also part of measures to improve energy security and self-sufficiency measures.
• The Union government has emphasised that increased use of ethanol can help reduce the oil import bill.
• Indias net import cost stands at $551 billion in 2020-21.
• It is estimated that the E20 program can save the country $4 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) per annum.
• Last year, oil companies procured ethanol worth about Rs 21,000 crore.
• Hence it is benefitting the sugarcane farmers. Further, the government plans to encourage use of water-sparing crops, such as maize, to produce ethanol, and production of ethanol from non-food feedstock.
• There is an estimated loss of six-seven per cent fuel efficiency for four wheelers and three-four per cent for two wheelers when using E20, the committee report noted. These vehicles are originally designed for E0 and calibrated for E10.
• The use of E20 will require new engine specifications and changes to the fuel lines, as well as some plastic and rubber parts due to the fuels corrosive nature, analysts cautioned.
• The engines, moreover, will need to be recalibrated to achieve the required power-, efficiency- and emission-level balance due to the lower energy density of the fuel. This can be taken care of by producing compatible vehicles.
• E20 material compliant and E10 compliant vehicles may be rolled out across the country from April 2023, the committee noted. These vehicles can tolerate 10 to 20 per cent of ethanol blended petrol and also deliver optimal performance with E10 fuel.
• Vehicles with E20-tuned engines can be rolled out all across the country from April 2025. These vehicles would run on E20 only and will provide high performance.
• The Union ministry of road transport and highways issued a gazette notification March 2021 mandating stickers on vehicles mentioning their E20, E85 or E100 compatibility. This will pave the way for flex fuel vehicles.
Impact on emissions
• Use of ethanol-blended petrol decreases emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the expert committee noted.
• Higher reductions in CO emissions were observed with E20 fuel — 50 per cent lower in two-wheelers and 30 per cent lower in four-wheelers.
• HC emissions reduced by 20 per cent with ethanol blends compared to normal petrol.
• Nitrous oxide emissions, however, did not show a significant trend as it depended on the vehicle / engine type and engine operating conditions.
• The unregulated carbonyl emissions, such as acetaldehyde emission were, however, higher with E10 and E20 compared to normal petrol.
• However, these emissions were relatively lower. Evaporative emission test results with E20 fuel were similar to E0.
• An increase in the ethanol content in fuels reduced the emissions of some regulated pollutants such as CO, HC and CO2. However, no such change in emissions was observed for nitrogen oxides emissions.
• Addition of ethanol, with a high blending octane number, however, allowed a reduction in aromatics in petrol. Such blends also burn cleaner as they have higher octane levels than pure petrol but have higher evaporative emissions from fuel tanks and dispensing equipment.
• Therefore, petrol requires extra processing to reduce evaporative emissions before blending with ethanol. Further, studies also point out that higher emission rates of acetaldehyde and formaldehyde relative to petrol is offset by reduction in benzene and 1,3-butadiene emissions, which are commonly emitted species from petrol combustion resulting in overall reduction in toxicity.
• It is crucial to study the emissions from flexible fuel vehicles not only for the regulated gases but also the unregulated ones.
• In Europe, biofuels have been seen as a measure to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from road transport because they were considered CO2-neutral fuels once lifecycle emissions are considered.
• Considering just the end use also indicates that CO2 emissions from blended fuel are lower than that for petrol since ethanol contains less carbon than petrol and produces less CO2.
• The carbon dioxide released by a vehicle when ethanol is burned is offset by the carbon dioxide captured when the feedstock crops are grown to produce ethanol. Comparatively, no emissions are offset when these petroleum products are burned.
• But producing and burning ethanol results in CO2 emissions. Hence, net CO2 emission benefit depends on how ethanol is made and whether or not indirect impacts on land use are included in the calculations.
Source: Down To Earth