Encouraged by the ITC's large-scale afforestation initiative, Classmate, the company's leading stationery brand, has taken up a local tree plantation initiative in Chennai along with students on the occasion of World Environment Day.
Over the past two decades, ITC Limited has been supporting a sustainable and inclusive forestry value chain for its Paperboards and Specialty Paper Business, contributing to carbon sequestration by creating a large green cover, whilst supporting large-scale livelihoods for tribals and marginal farmers.
The business has adopted an indigenous fibre-sourcing strategy by supporting the growth of renewable plantations, thus contributing to import substitution. ITC's large-scale afforestation programme has greened over 9,50,000 acres of land and provided over 170-million-person days of sustainable livelihood to farmers to date in India.
The efforts made by ITC to promote responsible sourcing and sustainable plantations have led to the Forest Stewardship Council certification as well as membership of WWF-Global Forest and Trade Network.
ITC Classmate's small but significant afforestation drive involving school students aims to complement the efforts of volunteers combating climate change at a local level. It has partnered with the Environmentalist Foundation of India, who have been invited by the Chengalpet district administration to create a forest patch at Vengadamangalam which is a fast-growing residential suburban pocket of Chennai and is witnessing contamination of land, water, and air with a profound shift in land use, growth, and ecology at large.
It is developing this project as an urban forest as part of a collaboration between the government, industry, students, and civic society. The objective of this afforestation project is also to motivate school students fully understand the importance of environmental positive actions and develop eco-consciousness.
To ensure that, ITC Classmate has planned a dedicated orientation program in 24 schools in the city from June 10 to July 31. The program aims to enhance their understanding of nuances of resource utilization, biodiversity preservation, and sustainability.
After attending the orientation program, students are expected to volunteer at the afforestation site in Vengadamangalam and get involved in post-plant maintenance like plant watering, manuring, nourishment, etc.
Speaking about the initiative, Vikas Gupta, Chief Executive, Education and stationery Products Business Division, ITC Ltd., said: "Climate change is today impacting us in myriad ways. Going forward, the young generation will have to play a significant role in environmental conservation. At ITC, responsible capitalism is an abiding strategy that focuses on extreme competitiveness but in a manner that replenishes the environment and supports sustainable livelihood. As part of this ethos, we, at ITC Classmate, have taken it upon ourselves to enhance understanding of the youth about the afforestation and take actions that would support their hope and trust in active actions for the future. We are endeavouring to embed awareness, know-how & capability amongst students on how they can foster sustainability in their daily way of life."
The Vengadamangalam panchayat dedicated the land parcel for the development of an urban forest with an aim to mitigate issues related to pollution and recreate lost habitats by encouraging biodiversity. ITC Classmate, through its NGO partner Environmentalist Foundation of India (E.F.I), cleaned this land parcel of any non-degradable trash and invasive plants, completed trench work, and created nourishment beds. It planted 1350 saplings of native plants in addition to planting berry-bearing, nectar-bearing, and fruit-bearing varieties on the entire plot besides fencing it with a dedicated water source for the growth of the saplings.
Ending all speculations after sending a cryptic tweet, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Thursday joined hands with Noida-based edtech startup Classplus to promote thousands of educators and content creators.
Ganguly also took to social media to announce this initiative, upon completing 30 years in Indian cricket. In the 30-second clip, Ganguly is heard saying, "The first step towards achieving your dreams is having the right coach."
Classplus has claimed to have digitised over one lakh educators and content creators across more than 3,000 cities serving 30 million students, assisting them in building their online presence and selling their online courses.
"With Dada (Ganguly) himself by their side, we hope to help these edupreneurs further grow their reach and take their business to newer heights," said Mukul Rustagi, CEO and Co-Founder, Classplus.
The startup recently bagged $70 million in a Series D funding round, co-led by Alpha Wave Global and Tiger Global and is currently valued at close to $600 million.
Classplus helps educators and content creators launch and scale their online coaching business.
Since its inception in 2018, the startup has raised approximately $160 million from global investors like Tiger Global, AWI, RTP Global, Blume Ventures, Sequoia Capital India's Surge, Spiral Ventures, Strive, Times Internet and Abu Dhabi-based Chimera Ventures.
On Wednesday, after sparking speculations of a possible political debut with a cryptic tweet, Ganguly sought to dispel the rumours and clarify his next venture.
After a few hours of leaving people guessing, Ganguly himself made it clear late that it is not politics, but an educational app that will be his new venture.
However, his Twitter message had enough ingredients to give rise to speculations that he might be ending his cricketing innings and making his debut in politics.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of Rs 25 crore on Vedanta Limited for violating the environmental norms by expanding its plant at Lanjigarh in Odisha's Kalahandi district.
A special bench of NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel was dealing with an appeal against the environmental clearance dated November 20, 2015 granted to Vedanta Limited (formerly Sesa Sterlite Ltd.), Bhubaneshwar, for expansion of Alumina Refinery and Captive Power Plant at Lanjigarh.
"In the present case, the prosecution has been initiated for illegal expansion. Liability for compensation on the polluter pays principle is assessed at Rs 25,00,00,000 (Rupees twenty-five crore only) having regard to the clear violation and financial capacity of the unit to be used for the restoration of the environment in terms of the environment plan to be prepared and executed as per the direction in later part of this order," said the green court in the order passed on May 2.
It directed the company to deposit the amount with the State Pollution Control Board within one month to be kept in a separate account to be utilised for the restoration of the environment.
As per the company, it has invested Rs 50,000 crore and has undertaken all mitigation measures for the protection of the environment. It has also complied with all statutory requirements, the project proponent argued.
The green court held the company accountable for the violation of a partly undertaken expansion without prior environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
The other main issue was the draw of water from River Tel. Though it is stated that the draw of water may not affect the flow of the river, considering the increasing need for water from the river not only by the PP but also by others, the permissibility of drawal of water should not remain static and unconditional forever, the NGT noted.
Further, the tribunal said its impact should be considered from time to time and the provision by way of additional conditions made to safeguard this aspect.
Accordingly, the green court also constituted a Committee comprising of the Secretary, Irrigation Department, Orrisa, Central Water Commission, State PCB and Regional Offices of MoEF&CC and CPCB in the matter. The panel has to formulate additional conditions based on periodical impact assessments within three months, it directed.
Human activity and behaviour, on top of climate change, are contributing to an increasing number of disasters across the world, finds a UN report.
The number of medium- to large-scale disaster events is projected to reach 560 a year, or 1.5 disasters a day, by 2030 if the current trends continue, according to the Global Assessment Report released by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
An additional estimated 37.6 million people will be living in conditions of extreme poverty due to the impact of climate change and disasters by 2030. A worst-case scenario will push an additional 100.7 million people into poverty by 2030, according to the report.
Between 350 and 500 such disasters took place every year over the past two decades. This is five times higher than the previous three decades. The cost of these disasters has averaged nearly $170 billion per year over the last decade, says the report.
This impact is focused on low-income and lower-middle-income countries, which lose on an average 1 per cent of their national GDP to disasters per year, compared to 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent in high-income countries and upper-middle-income countries, respectively.
The greatest share of economic loss is borne within the Asia-Pacific region. Countries in this region lose on an average 1.3 per cent of GDP to disasters each year. Africa is the second-most affected region, losing an average of 0.6 per cent of GDP to disasters, the report added.
Despite the fact that more countries are adopting disaster risk reduction strategies, more people have been killed or affected by disasters in the last five years than in the previous five, it says.
"There is no time to waste. The current uncertainties around our world must not be a barrier to action. Delay is not an option. We can no longer afford delaying investments in disaster risk reduction. The systemic challenges of the 21st century require systemic thinking, coordination and response if we are to create a more sustainable, more resilient, and more equitable future for all," said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who presented the report at UN headquarters in New York.
Mami Mizutori, Head of UNDRR, said at the launch of the report, "If we want to significantly reduce disaster losses by 2030, then we must face the fact that the next eight years require transformation in governance, finance and behavior."
China's One Belt One Road (OBOR), now known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), was announced in 2013 and it seems it has one purpose only -- the subjugation of the economically fragile nations on the way to becoming a great power by the time the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrates 100 years.
There are numerous examples of countries, developed and developing, which are economically fragile that have become even more fragile courtesy the OBOR. The recent situation in Pakistan and Sri Lanka is a case in point. The Centre for Global Development in a 2018 study of countries hosting OBOR projects found 23 of them in a state of debt distress.
Sri Lanka has taken loans from China, at lending rates in the range of 3-6 per cent against the 1-3 per cent offered by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). As a result, Sri Lanka has had to request China for a debt-to-equity swap, selling their own equity to Chinese companies as they have not been able to pay back their loans.
China's investment of an estimated $1.4 billion in Sri Lanka's Colombo Port City project is the largest single foreign investment in the island nation's history. Dubbed as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the government of Sri Lanka and the CHEC Port City Colombo (CPCC) Pvt Ltd, the project has been much publicised for the employment opportunities and huge revenues that it would generate for the Sri Lankans.
What is seldom spoken about is the fact that of the 269 hectares of reclaimed land, 43 per cent will be controlled by the CPCC through a 99-year lease agreement. This is reminiscent of the not too long-ago takeover of the Hambantota Port on a 99-year lease by China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPH). The port is now operated 'jointly' by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and CMPH, with the latter holding 80 percent stake in the port and exercising near-total control over its operations. Sri Lanka is just one example of how China uses its economic power to ensnare unsuspecting, and sometimes complicit governments in an intricate web of debt and dependencies.
The BRI is the garb to entice nations into futile and ineffectual projects which are extravagant compared to more realistic challenges being faced. The projects are promoted as one of its kind infrastructure development projects with fictitious prospects; however, they are of significance and benefit primarily to China.
The initiatives provide easier and more convenient opportunities to address the vulnerabilities of China at the cost and investment of individual nations. The mechanism provides expedient access for Chinese state-owned companies to saturate the economies of small nations and saddle the borrowing nation with loans that can be leveraged when needed. In addition, China with its financial freedom has emerged as an independent nation providing financial alternatives over international organisations like the IMF, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to secure individual and selfish designs.
The infrastructure projects of road, rail, buildings, ports etc. with inflated costs are advertised as comprehensive solutions without disclosing the methodology and terms of execution.
The projects in Sri Lanka like the $104 million Lotus tower which never got commissioned or the $209 million Mattala Airport which is the ‘World's Emptiest Airport', though presumed to be funded by China had all its costs recovered through execution by Chinese entities, using equipment/ machinery/material from China including a significant proportion of labour/top management.
In effect, whilst Sri Lanka paid for the projects, it filled the Chinese treasury with a requirement that was not essential. Further, due to the confidentiality of project being pursued by the government the actual cost of the projects are also largely exaggerated. The Chinese approach in Sri Lanka has been outright capitalist wherein the Sri Lankan economy is flooded with cheap Chinese goods so as to kill the local economy and extract as much Strategic advantage by trapping the Government of the day in frivolous infrastructure projects.
It needs to be understood that all Chinese deals come with hidden agendas, particularly with the aim to in debt the country, take control of land, fill the coffers of China at the expense of smaller countries under the garb of development. The modus operandi of engagement has been similar in Africa, Asia and Latin America wherein countries have been indebted with a Chinese loan of billions of dollars.
Thus, all countries in the region must guard their sovereignty in their best interests, lest it is also 'Coloured Red' under the Chinese shadow.
At a global public event, GKPD released the results of a two yearlong study by eminent, international scholars and human rights practitioners on the way forward for the just and sustainable return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland.
While commending the present government for removal of Article 370 and making progress on the 6,000 Prime Minister jobs package, there was universal agreement that the state had abandoned the Kashmiri Pandit community which was now facing extinction.
Notwithstanding occasional rhetoric, the continuing official tag of 'migrants' showed that the State had not only not classified the Pandits as Internally Displaced Persons but instead disclaimed them as Internally Disgraced People.
The Kashmiri Pandit community has had to fend for itself for the last 32 years while the genociders have gained a windfall economic benefit estimated by the GKPD task force of over $30 billion in money, land, buildings, agricultural assets, art, livelihood, and other assets. This does not count the impact of lives lost.
Professor Aurobindo Ogra, the lead author of the study, who is based at the University of Johannesburg and has twenty years' experience in urban planning stated, "Our study zeroed into the neighbourhood of Anantnag Division which historically has been a centre of Kashmiri Pandit land holdings and temples where the Autonomous Administrative Division would be carved out. This University township Hub would incubate industry, hospitals, health services and tourism and would be designed to scale up to house one hundred thousand Kashmiri Pandit families."
Virinder Kaul, GKPD International Coordinator, based in India who is co-author and a civil engineer with deep expertise in large scale projects stated, "Moving 6000 Kashmiri Pandits into interim housing in the Valley is subjecting them to further inhuman conditions including risk of life. As second-class citizens they are left with nothing at the end of their tenure. A permanent solution is long overdue. There is clear precedent in the thirty autonomous zones that have been set up so far in India under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution to administer micro cultures like the Kashmiri Pandits. Financing of the Hub can be obtained by creating Special Purpose Vehicles which can club the previously announced welfare schemes for new homes and job creation and gain advantage of critical mass including Transfer of Development Rights. Besides the tax base that the AAD Hub will have, there is an opportunity to reposition the 500 plus temples in key spokes such as Varahamulla, Kupwara and Srinagar to their historic role of serving the religious tourists who would come and stay at the lankars and help generate revenues."
Dr. Shafalica Bhan, GKPD UK, a psychiatrist and mental health specialist, based in London, UK stated: "The proposed solution builds on the earlier GKPD MOU which was signed by all Kashmiri Pandit organisations and over sixteen thousand five hundred civil society members. It will meet the security needs of the long- traumatized Kashmiri Pandit community who will be able to live with their families without fear in their homeland. More importantly, any solution must result in political empowerment of the community with adequate representation and not its hegemony. This will ensure that there will be non-refoulment as long as the autonomous council is protected constitutionally and not hollowed out."
Rakesh Kaul, GKPD Co-Founder, based in the US stated, "The task force recommendations are based on a deep understanding of the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits under International law governing indigenous people and Genocide and finding solutions which are valid under the Indian constitution. It is undisputed that the State bears full responsibility for preserving and restoring Kashmiri Pandit way of life and status pre 1990 and earlier. It must leave no stone unturned so that at least five hundred thousand Kashmiri Pandits are granted domicile rights expeditiously and that full compensation is paid for the loss of life, property, and livelihood which the task force estimates at $30 billion and rising with time. Delaying justice is expensive and therefore it behooves the state to act with dispatch to find a solution for the return, resettlement, rehabilitation and restitution of Kashmiri Pandits."
This report will be shared with relevant institutions in India and globally.
The forest and tree cover in India is now 8,09,537 sq kms, which is 24.62 per cent of the country's geographical area and 1,540 sq kms more compared to the 2019 assessment, said the India State of Forest Report 2021, released by Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav at a virtual ceremony on Thursday.
The total forest cover is 7,13,789 sq kms, which is 21.71 per cent of the geographical area of the country while tree cover is 95,748 sq kms (2.91 per cent of GA). This is an increase of 2,261 sq kms (0.28 per cent) in total forest and tree cover in the country compared to the 2019 assessment.
The area under Very Dense Forest, Moderately Dense Forest and Open Forest is 99,779 sq kms, which is 3.04 per cent of the geographical area (GA), 3,06,890 sq kms (9.33 per cent of GA) and 3,07,120 sq kms (9.34 per cent of GA) respectively.
The top five states in terms of increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq kms, Telangana (632 sq kms), Odisha (537 sq kms), Karnataka (155 sq kms) and Jharkhand (110 sq kms).
The country's tree cover (small patches outside forests) which is on the rise, is estimated to be 95,748 sq km, or 2.91 per cent of GA. There is an increase of 721 sq kms in the vegetative cover as compared to the 2019 data, the report said.
An important aspect highlighted in the report is the mangrove cover for the vast 7,500 kms coastline spread over 12 states and Union Territories. The latest report mentions that the mangrove cover is 4,992 sq kms, which is 0.15 per cent of the GA. There has been a net increase of 17 sq kms in the mangrove cover compared to 2019. Odisha (8 sq kms) and Maharashtra (4 sq kms) have shown significant improvement.
The total number of bamboo culms has increased by 13,882 million since 2019. The total estimated green weight of bamboo culms at the national level is 402 million tonnes. The present assessment observed an increase of about 124 million tonnes equivalent green weight of bamboo as compared to the previous assessment.
With the construction industry having a huge environmental footprint, especially in developing nations like India, where a lot of construction take place over the next 50 years, timber and bamboo offer a solution to reduce carbon emissions, says an expert. Steel and cement manufacture are deemed to produce around 8 percent each (i.e. around 16 percent) of the world's carbon emissions. The nations must find substitutes for these materials.
The construction industry has a huge environmental footprint. According to some sources it is responsible for about 40 percent of the world's carbon emissions between the construction of buildings and infrastructure and operation of buildings, David Trujillo, an assistant professor in Coventry University's School of Energy, Construction and Environment, said.
He spoke to IANS in detail about the structural utility of bamboo, and how its use in the construction industry could help to step up efforts to combat climate change.
"In developing nations like India, where we would expect a lot of construction to take place over the next 50 years, this is likely to be very significant. We must find substitutes for steel and cement materials," he said in the interview.
"In developing countries, it is very common to construct buildings out of reinforced concrete and concrete blocks. I believe this is accurate for India also. We must change the way we build."
Responding to why bamboo is an important material, he said timber and bamboo offer a solution to reduce carbon emissions for two reasons: First, transforming them into useful materials requires little energy input.
And second, if responsibly grown and harvested, they can potentially act as carbon sinks.
"However, in most developing countries we have few established commercial forests ready to be exploited, and we must avoid exploiting primary forests. If we committed to planting timber forests now, it would be at least 25-50 years before we could harvest them.
"We cannot wait that long. Many developing countries in the tropics and subtropics have plenty of bamboo resources, this includes India. It is a resource that is ready to be exploited.
"And if they do not have them, it will only take about 10 years from green field to highly productive forest. Bamboo forests are easy to exploit, and in fact perform better if they are regularly exploited," the Coventry University researcher told IANS.
He was at the 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow for delivering a presentation on why bamboo could play a crucial role in the future of the construction industry.
On how wide of a scale bamboo could be planted, he replied: "As bamboo can be, and has been, introduced in degraded soils, it seems possible that any increase in plantation and production can be undertaken without displacing primary forests or agricultural land.
"Another key benefit is that initial studies seem to suggest that bamboo is more productive per hectare and sinks more carbon, than timber."
About the social benefits of bamboo in construction, he said there are many.
"Firstly, it creates an additional and continuous source of income for rural communities. Unlike mining, which is capital intensive and concentrated, bamboo exploitation requires little capital and can be spread broadly.
"However, there are plenty of opportunities to generate new industries associated with it: preservation, transformation, etc. Modern bamboo housing has an excellent track record in disaster resilience (earthquakes and typhoons), low costs and high levels of thermal comfort.
"It is expected that construction of multi-storey engineered bamboo frames (for now only a potential and not current technology) would have similar benefits that modern timber structures have: better working environments, lower air pollution during construction, improved working conditions, etc."
Even before the bursting of crackers, the air quality of Delhi-NCR region has worsened further as AQI of eight areas here has crossed the 400-mark and settled at 'severe' category by Thursday afternoon, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed.
AQI of five areas in Delhi, two in Ghaziabad was recorded over 400 by CPCB in its data collected at 1 p.m, showing Wazirpur (433), Alipur (406), Bawana (402), Jahangiri (439) Nehru Nagar (413) in Delhi, Loni (450) and Sanjay Nagar (404) in Ghaziabad and Sector 62 (420) in Noida among those under the last category of the index.
The meteorological agencies have predicted an AQI of 500 plus for Thursday and Friday when Delhiites burst crackers on Diwali day.
According to health experts, an AQI of such an extent may cause respiratory problems even in healthy people, and serious health impacts on people with lung or heart disease. The health impacts may be experienced even during light physical activity.
With stubble burning share in Delhi's air pollution set to increase over the next three days, SAFAR has projected an AQI of 500 plus on November 5 even if Delhiites burst 50 percent fewer crackers compared to the last year.
SAFAR, or the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research under the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) – an agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences – said as per sensitivity simulation, stubble share on November 4 is predicted to increase to 20 percent and will touch a peak of 35-40 percent on November 5 and 6, if fire counts are considered same as today (3,500-4,000). This is largely due to transport-level winds reaching Delhi from North-Westerly, where stubble burning hotspots are expected, SAFAR said.
World leaders were in the UK for day three of the UN Climate Change Conference or COP26 on Tuesday where a wide range of announcements focused on signalling a clear shift from ambition to immediate action.
Countries made unprecedented commitments to protect forests, reduce methane emissions and accelerate green technology.
Amid powerful pleas heard in Glasgow on Monday, world leaders, young people and campaigners all stressed the urgency of taking tangible action to keep the prospect of holding back global temperature rises to 1.5 degree Celsius and building resilience to climate impacts.
A total of 114 leaders took a landmark step forward at a convening of world leaders on forests by committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. The pledge is backed by $12bn in public and $7.2bn in private funding.
Countries from Canada to Russia to Brazil -- which also increased its Nationally determined contributions (NDC) on Monday -- China, Colombia, Indonesia and Congo all endorsed the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forest and Land Use.
Together, they support 85 per cent of the world's forests, an area of more than 13 million square miles which absorbs around one-third of global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels each year.
This announcement was bolstered with a commitment by CEOs from more than 30 financial institutions with more than $8.7 trillion of global assets, including Aviva, Schroders and Axa, committing to eliminating investment in activities linked to deforestation.
Tuesday is also the first time a COP in recent history has hosted a major event on methane, with 105 countries, including 15 major emitters, including Brazil, Nigeria and Canada, signing up to the global methane pledge.
This historic commitment, led by the US and EU alongside the UK COP26 presidency, equates up to 40 per cent of global methane emissions and 60 per cent of global GDP.
More than 35 world leaders have also backed and signed up to the new Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda that will see countries and businesses work together to dramatically scale and speed up the development and deployment of clean technologies and drive down costs this decade.
Signatories include the US, India, EU, developing economies and some of those most vulnerable to climate change -- collectively representing more than 50 per cent of the world's economy and every region.
The aim is to make clean technologies the most affordable, accessible and attractive choice for all globally in the most polluting sectors by 2030, particularly supporting the developing world to access the innovation and tools needed for a just transition to net-zero.
Work will focus on five key sectors -- power, road transport, hydrogen, steel and agriculture -- which together represent more than half of total global emissions and further demonstrate how countries are moving from commitments to tangible action.
Leaders signed up to the Glasgow Breakthroughs also committed to discussing global progress every year in each sector starting in 2022 -- supported by annual reports led by the International Energy Agency in collaboration with International Renewable Energy Agency and UN High-Level Champions -- and annual discussions of ministers across government convened around the Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerial.
This 'Global Checkpoint Process' will seek to sustain and continually strengthen international cooperation across the agenda throughout this decade.
Leaders from South Africa, the UK, the US, France, Germany and the European Union have announced a ground-breaking partnership to support South Africa with an accelerated just energy transition.
As a first step, the international partnership has announced that $8.5billion can be made available over the next three-five years to support South Africa -- the world's most carbon-intensive electricity producer -- to achieve the most ambitious target within South Africa's upgraded and ambitious NDC.
A package of support, bringing together private sector finance and public sector expertise to scale-up African climate adaptation projects, providing life-saving support in the face of climate shocks to protect the most vulnerable.
Leaders raised the importance of adaptation to the impacts of climate change as a matter of survival. New countries came forward with adaptation communications, bringing the number of people covered by them and national adaptation plans to 2.3 billion.
COP26 President Alok Sharma said: "Forests are one of our best defences against catastrophic climate change, and essential to keeping 1.5C alive. This historic commitment will help end the devastating effects of deforestation and support the developing countries and indigenous communities who are the guardians of so much of the world's forests."
"The Glasgow Breakthroughs will help move us towards a global tipping point, where the clean, green technologies we need to reach net-zero and keep 1.5C alive are more affordable, accessible and attractive for all than the polluting practices we are leaving behind."
UPSC topper Shubham Kumar has said that he was not sure about cracking the examination this year, which was his third attempt.
His first attempt was in 2018. "After the second attempt in 2019, I got the 290th rank, and then I got into the Indian Defence Account Service," he said.
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Friday declared the results of exams held in 2020. Kumar, a resident of Katihar district of Bihar, who has topped the Civil Services Examination 2020, said he is happy with his performance.
A total of 761 candidates have been recommended by the Union Public Service Commission for appointment in the bureaucracy of the country.
"I am very happy and feeling very good because I gave as much as I could... I was not sure that I would be able to do it this time," he told IANS.
Kumar has done civil engineering from IIT Bombay and hails from Katihar in Bihar.
"Currently, I am in National Academy of Defence Financial Management Pune and I am an official trainee in Indian Accounts Service," he said.
He said: "I was not that confident in the Mains this time as I was not able to answer all the questions well."
"Due to Covid, I was not able to prepare last year... I was all alone... friends became less and I could not talk to anyone, so it was like preparing by staying locked in a room."
Apart from Shubham, Jagriti Awasthi and Ankita Jain have secured the second and third positions respectively in the Civil Services Examination.