Long Period Average
News: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast monsoon to be 101% of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 88 cm. Central India will receive an excess of rainfall where the northeast would see a 5% shortfall.
Long Period Average:
Long Period Average (LPA) is the average rainfall received over a period of 50-year between 1951 and 2001. This average for India is 88 cm of rainfall.
Monsoon months from June to September are taken for calculating this average and this average is also kept as a benchmark while forecasting the quantitative rainfall for the monsoon season every year.
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) maintains five rainfall distribution categories on an all-India scale which are as follows:
Normal or Near Normal: if the variation of actual rainfall is +/-10% of LPA, that is, between 96-104% of LPA then that is considered as normal/near normal.
Below normal: if the variation in actual rainfall is less than 10% of LPA, that is 90-96% of LPA then that is considered as below normal.
Above normal: if the rainfall in a year is 104-110% of LPA.
Deficient: if the actual rainfall in a year is less than 90% of LPA.
Excess: when the actual rainfall in a year is more than 110% of LPA.
News: National Green Tribunal has asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to control illegal sand mining in the state.
What is Sand mining?
Sand mining refers to the extraction of sand mainly through open pits and sometimes form the beaches and inland dunes or from ocean and river beds.
Sand is the most mined material from the earth. Almost around 85% of the material that extract from the earth is sand, gravel or other aggregate materials.
Uses of sand:
Sand is virtually used in every construction or manufacturing process and is even used as an ingredient in toothpaste.
The annual consumption of sand is around 53 billion tonnes world wide, i.e. to an extent of 20Kg per person per day. The demand is expected to increase to a level of 60 billion tonnes per year by 2030.
Though a large part of earth is covered with desert and has a huge quantity of open sand, desert sand is functionally useless. The grains of desert sand have been weathered by wind, leaving them smooth and rounded.
Thus the sand is generally extracted from riverbeds and banks, in lakes and along shorelines. This sand is laden with silica, which is melted down to make glass for windows, windshields, and smartphone screens.
Issues related to Sand:
As per the United Nations Environment “Sand and Sustainability” report the unsustainable extraction of sand is far exceeding the replenishment rates.
Maximum sand mining is being done by China and India.
The report highlighted that unsustainable extraction from rivers has led to pollution, flooding, lowering of water aquifers and worsening drought occurrence.
Rivers, river deltas and coastlines are eroding, sand mafias are thriving.
Further, the demand for sand has increased three-fold over the last decades, driven by shifting consumption patterns, growing populations, increasing urbanisation and rapid infrastructure development.
Despite the fact that the sand is one of the most traded commodities on the planet, there is very low general awareness about widespread extraction of sands and its impacts.
There are less regulations for the illegal sand mining.
Sand mining In India:
Sand mining in India first gained prominence when the National Green Tribunal in August 2013 banned sand mining without proper environment clearance.
Since then the country has witnessed cases related to illegal sand mining and the violence related to sand mining for example: in february 2019, the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) highlighted that at least 28 people died in 2018 in violence related to illegal sand mining.
Poor regulations around sand mining and whatever we have are being diluted while implementation.
News: The World Health Organisation has approved the Sinovac Vaccine manufactured in China, for COVID-19 emergency use.
About the vaccine:
It is a two dose vaccine.
It is the second chinese vaccine after Sinopharm.
Sinovac can be stored at a standard refrigerator temperature of 2- 3 degrees celsius.
The approval will allow for its distribution and import-export
The approval further allows the entry of Vaccine into the Covax scheme, which aims to provide equitable access to doses around the world, particularly in poorer countries.