The Hindu Newspaper Analysis – 18-10-2020

Waste to energy plant

  • The Bidadi waste to energy plant has now been inaugurated. Bidadi is a small town located between Bengaluru and Mysore.
  • The plant is as powerful as 11.5 MW and reproduces 600 tons of waste per day which is predominantly inorganic waste.
  • Bengaluru city in a day produces 5000 tons of waste out of which 2500 tons is organic waste; 1500 tons is inorganic and the rest is the mixture of the two.
  • The plant converts the inorganic waste into RDF or refused derived fuel and this can be used for the production of steam energy, electric energy and even burning of coal.
  • This also helps in segregation of wastes and it converts organic waste into compost, inorganic waste into energy. It can produce 1 MW of power with 50 tons of waste.
  • Already up to 8 plants exist in this regard yet this will add to the potential for further usage. Inorganic wastes are a challenge as they will add to both environment as well as economic challenges.
  • If the plant can recycle 600 tons of waste per day, it means it can produce 11.5 MW of power which will be equal to 2.4 lakhs units of power.
  • It will help us fight several environmental issues and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Plants suffer from several operational challenges in this regard and the quality of Indian waste adds to this issue as it not adheres to the norm of less 5% moisture in the wastes also less than 5% silt and soil. Also segregation at source doesn’t happen in India.
  • Also, the purchasing tariff for these plants in more than the others and hence it incurs higher expenditure.
  • These things have to be taken into consideration before going forward in this regard.

Challenges to Online Education

  • Online Education poses several problems in this regard.
  • From the teacher’s perspective the problems are as follows:
    • Lack of appropriate devices like graphic tablets, webcams and others.
    • Lack of bandwidth is another issue.
    • The teachers have to invest to get these appliances or equipment
    • The material that has to be disbursed that must be taken into consideration
  • It is tough to manage the situation in this regard and 90% of children have no access to it and we have to question if right to education also includes right to devices as well.
  • From the student’s perspective we have to understand that there are issues as well.
  • Many children have no access to mobile phones and laptops added to this
    • The burden of getting them
    • If repair comes up
    • They suffer from mental stress
    • This eventually leads to them to drift off from education
    • They are unable to provide feedback
    • The home environment is not conducive for them to learn and analyze what is thought in the classes
    • Lack of stimulation adds to this situation
  • A hybrid solution has to be bought forth in this regard also the solutions to the issues should be a part of the National Curriculum Framework.
  • We also have to understand the situation from the point of view of women or girl’s education. The digital space though provides a wider avenue for the girls and women to get educated and learn, it makes them more vulnerable to the negative cyberspace.
  • If a family is provided a choice to provide the smartphone to the girl or a boy, they would definitely hand it over to the boy than a girl and this would eventually drift her away from an education. Also, the lockdown period when all of us had to stay back at homes, women suffered more of gender violence and abuse.
  • How do we make online classes more interesting? Predominantly we have to make it more effective and then we can have the betterment.
    • We need to have multi modal communication, not just in the way of audio but also video among others.
    • Learning material has to be provided in various manners and modes.
    • The classes have to be made more interactive from teachers being just facilitators to transferers of knowledge.
    • The way the teacher speaks, dresses and keeps the class gripped also matters.
  • Assessment also plays an important role where portfolio assessment has to be done and teacher training becomes important. Formative assessment can be done through these modes but summative ones are quite tough to do as you can’t assess their live abilities and performances.
  • Hence, if this going to be the new normal, various things have to be taken into consideration and moved forward by providing a solution to them all.

Indo UK relations

  • As UK ends the transition period vis a vis BREXIT, it is trying to strengthen its relations with the nations away from Europe. As a part of this we are seeing UK collaborating with India.
  • PM Boris Johnson of UK has agreed to be the chief guest of the upcoming republic day celebrations also PM Modi will be attending the upcoming G7 summit and COP 26 going to be held in Glasgow.
  • This will be the first bilateral visit of PM Johnson after BREXIT and pushes forward the 10-year roadmap of our relations.
  • We are going to upgrade the strategic partnership that we started in 2004 to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This will take us forward in collaborating in various things like greater defence cooperation, the Indo Pacific region, counter terrorism and climate change.
  • UK is also trying to make free trade partners with not just India but also countries like Japan, USA, Vietnam among others.
  • It will take forward in this regard cooperation with regards to vaccine as India is going to be one of the largest producers.
  • Post BREXIT the cooperation with regards to VISAs and bringing back the fugitives like Vijay Mallya also has to be considered.
  • UK has also criticized against the Indian domestic policies like the abrogation of Article 370, the citizenship amendment act, the farmers protests and so on, UK says so as it houses much of the Indian diaspora and this has to be taken forward that is our relations by keeping these things in mind.
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