1.The Hindu Editorial Summary : Decoding the Judgement on Jim Corbett National Park

GS-3 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Examine the significance of the Supreme Court’s judgement on illegal tree felling in Jim Corbett National Park

Illegal Tree Felling in Jim Corbett National Park

  • Supreme Court highlighted the nexus between politicians, forest officials, and contractors responsible for felling trees.
  • This act violates the Wildlife Protection Act (1972), Project Tiger, and Forest (Conservation) Act (1980).
  • Court judgement: Economic growth cannot come at the cost of environmental destruction (Rural Litigation Judgement, 1983).

Ecotourism and the Precautionary Principle

  • Forest authorities promoted ecotourism for conservation, revenue, and local livelihood improvement.
  • Supreme Court judgement:
    • Ecotourism should be eco-centric (environment-centered) and not anthropocentric (human-centered).
    • Tiger safaris banned in core areas.
    • Committee formed to explore feasibility in peripheral areas.
    • 2019 guidelines allowing zoo-like safaris rejected.
  • Precautionary Principle: Lack of full scientific certainty shouldn’t delay taking action to prevent environmental damage.
  • This principle is especially important for biodiversity conservation due to mass extinction threats.
    • 12% of 1212 animal species in India are endangered (IUCN Red List 2021).
    • India lost 90% of its biodiversity hotspots (CSE report, 2021).

Challenges in Costing Environmental Damage

  • Identifying the cost of restoration and recovering it from offenders is difficult.
  • Recovering restoration costs doesn’t recover the lost environmental benefits.
  • Current valuation methods (compensatory afforestation levy, net present value) are inadequate.
    • They don’t account for the impact on other environmental services.

Way Forward: Valuing Ecosystem Services

  • A valuation method based on ecosystem services (food, water, climate regulation, etc.) is needed.
  • This method considers the benefits people receive from natural ecosystems.

2. The Hindu Editorial Summary – How fast is the universe expanding?

GS-1 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the Hubble tension and its implications for our understanding of the universe’s expansion rate.

2.Hubble Tension: Mystery of Universe’s Expansion Rate

The Problem

  • Cosmologists disagree on the universe’s expansion rate due to conflicting measurement methods.

Standard Model (Lambda-CDM Model)

  • Cold dark matter (CDM) is the dominant form of matter in the universe (explanation for various features).
  • Needs improvement to explain discrepancies like the Hubble tension.

Open vs. Closed vs. Flat Universe

  • Open: Continues expanding forever (like a saddle).
  • Closed: Eventually collapses due to gravity (like a sphere).
  • Flat: Keeps expanding but at a decreasing rate (special case).

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Data

  • Leftover radiation from the Big Bang.
  • Measurements suggest a flat universe with near-zero curvature.
  • Estimated expansion rate: 68 kilometers per second per megaparsec ((km/s)/Mpc).

Hubble Tension: Discrepancy in Measuring Expansion Rate

Two Measurement Methods

  • Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB): Suggests expansion rate of 68 km/s per megaparsec (Mpc).
  • Cosmic Distance Ladder (Cepheid variables): Indicates expansion rate of 73 km/s per Mpc.

Cepheid Variables and James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

  • Cepheid variables: Brightness variations help estimate their distance and universe’s expansion.
  • JWST: Can track near-infrared radiation from Cepheids, reducing measurement errors.

Hubble Tension Remains

  • Significant difference between the two methods’ results (Hubble tension).
  • Cause of the discrepancy is yet to be understood.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *