Art & Culture
- Sexual Harassment Charges against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
- All You Need to know about Electoral Bonds
- Electoral Bonds controversy
- NaMo TV controversy
- General Elections 2019
- RBI Governor bats for a Permanent Status to Finance Commission
- PM Modi’s Mission Shakti Speech & Model Code of Conduct
- Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s latest Controversy
- Rafale deal document controversy
- Should SC Judges be under RTI ambit?
- Supreme Court Judgement on Tainted Candidates
- VVPAT verification
Governance & Social Justice
- Candida Auris : Drug- resistant fungi
- Candida auris infection
- Healthcare System for India, Difference in USA & European healthcare model?
- Lateral Entry in Civil Services explained
- Model policy for Women in Police
- NIRF India Rankings 2019 declared
- Quality Assurance Scheme
- Sex on false promise of marriage is rape
- Survey 2019 Ambitions Beyond Growth report by UNESCAP
- World Health Statistics Overview 2019 report on Life Expectancy
- World Press Freedom Index 2019
- Supreme Court compensation order on Bilkis Bano case
- WHO guidelines on physical activity for children under 5 years of age
- Global Talent Competitive Index 2019
- Algeria Political Crisis
- EU’s new Copyright Law, Will it change Web Worldwide?
- India Pakistan Kartarpur Corridor Talks
- India to Become NATO Ally?
- Japan Starts a New Era
- Julian Assange Arrested
- Sudan Political Crisis
- Trump designates Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran
- United Nations Has to Pay India $38 Million
- US labels Revolutionary Guard of Iran a terror organisation
- US Mexico border wall controversy
- Why is UAE Important for India?
- Why is Chile Important for India?
- India Pakistan Conflict De-escalation Mechanisms
- India suspends cross LoC trade with Pakistan
- What is Arab Spring 2.0?
- India to stop buying Oil from Iran
- Trump withdraws from UN arms treaty
- Asian Development Outlook 2019
- China’s growth after slowdown
- Foreign Investment in India
- India’s 20th Livestock Census
- India’s transition to Renewable Energy from conventional sources
- Indian Army Builds The Longest Bridge of India Over Indus In Leh
- India Energy Modelling Forum by NITI Aayog & USAID
- National Common Mobility Card launched
- Rise and fall of Private Airlines in India
- Rise in Global Crude Oil prices & weakening Rupee
- Slowdown in Industrial Growth & rising Inflation
- Supreme Court order on EPFO
- Supreme Court quashes RBI’s 12 February Circular on NPA
- What are Junk Bonds?
- What is Fixed Maturity Plans?
- What is GDP deflator? Is it more comprehensive compared to WPI and CPI?
- What is Trader’s Credit Card Scheme?
- What is Wholesale Price Index?
- 1st Bimonthly Monetary Policy review – April 2019
- National Rubber Policy 2019
- Sensex hits 7 months high, History & Functions of Bombay Stock Exchange
- Supreme Court orders RBI on RTI
- What is Dedollarisation?
- Asian Tea Alliance
- Pepsico vs Farmers Issue
Defence & Security
Science & Technology
- Dhanush Artillery Guns
- Combat Casualty Drugs
- The Indian Museum of the Earth (TIME)
- EMISAT Satellite Launched
- Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric
- First Ever Image of a Black Hole
- India to Buy MH60 Romeo Helicopters
- Nepal and Sri Lanka Launch Their First Satellites Raavana 1 & NepaliSat-1
- Nirbhay Missile Successfully Tested
- High Bacteriophages in Ganga River
- Army invokes Emergency Powers for Missile Deal
- Cell Based Meat
- INS Imphal Guided Missile Destroyer
- Draft Indian Forest Act 2019
- Gujarat Fishermen’s victory in US Supreme Court
- Humpback Mahseer Fish included in Critically Endangered list by IUCN
- India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)
- Jammu & Kashmir Environment Issues
- Madras High Court order on Chennai Salem Highway
- Monkey declared Vermin in Himachal Pradesh
- Neelakurinji Flower under Severe Threat
- Solar eWaste
- Special Postal Stamp on Ice Stupas released
- State of Global Climate report 2018
- What is Green Finance Ecosystem?
- Wind turbines are impacting ecology in Western Ghats
- All about Wild Food Plants
Spice of the Month
- GS 3 || Environment || Environment & Ecology || Sustainable Development
Why in news?
- The US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a group of fishermen and a Gujarat village panchayat in a suit against the US-headquartered International Finance Corporation (IFC).
- The case, which now goes back to a US district court, relates to alleged pollution caused by a Gujarat-based power plant partly funded by IFC.
- The coal-fired power plant, near Mundra port in Gujarat’s Kutch district and with a capacity of 4,150 MW, is the country’s first to deploy energy-efficient supercrictical technology (which results in energy efficiency 40.5% higher compared to other coal-based power technologies).
- Initially conceived by Power Finance Corporation Limited, it was awarded in 2007 to Coastal Gujarat Power Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Power.
- It reached full generation capacity in March 2013, and has since been selling power to utilities in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.
- Of the estimated project cost of $4.14 billion, $450 million was funded in 2008 by IFC, which finances private-sector development projects in poor and developing countries.
- Asian Development Bank advanced $450 million as loan,
- Export Credit Agency of Korea extended another $800 million as loan, and
- CGPL raised around Rs 1.5 billion from Indian banks through debt.
- According to National Fish Worker’s Forum, a nationwide federation of fishermen organisations, the plant operates a cooling technology that requires much more water than the system it got clearance for. The water is eventually discharged into the sea, and the complainants have alleged that it has affected marine life.
- The company had first got clearance for a closed-cycle cooling system in the Mundra plant.
- But it got government clearances modified and installed boilers with an open cooling system [which requires three times as much water] and then discharges water into the sea.
- The outfall canal of the plant discharges hot and saline water at a rate of 600 million litres/hr. It is affecting marine life as well as groundwater sources.
- The company also dredged the coast and seafloor for their outfall channel and deposited sand near a well, which was a source of drinking water.
- Complainants add that coal dust and fly-ash from the plant are damaging date palms and chikoo trees in Navinal.
- The plant is located near Tragadi village in Mandvi taluka, and Navinal village in neighbouring Mundra taluka.
- Tragadi has a colony of fishermen in an area known as Tragadi-Nal while Navinal is rich in agriculture and horticulture.
- In 2010, fishermen of Tragadi and residents of Navinal came together under the aegis of fishermen’s organisation Machimar Adhikhar Sangharsh Sanghathan (MASS) and complained to the company about damage to the environment.
In US courts
- In 2015, a suit was filed, through EarthRights International, against IFC in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.
- They contended that the funding agency should be held responsible for air, land and water pollution caused by the plant.
- Arguing that the IFC internal audit had found environmental violations, they sought damages and injunctive relief.
- IFC claimed absolute immunity from such litigation under the US International Organisation Immunities Act (IOIA), 1945.
- The district court ruled in IFC’s favour. In 2017, the petitioners moved the Court of Appeals for the district, which upheld the verdict. The petitioners then moved the US Supreme Court.
- In a 7:1 verdict, the Supreme Court reversed the Appeals Court judgment.
- It ruled IFC enjoys only “restrictive immunity” in activities abroad, and remanded the matter back to the lower court for adjudication on damages.
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries.
- The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C..
- It was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development.
- The IFC’s stated aim is to create opportunities for people to escape poverty and achieve better living standards by mobilizing financial resources for private enterprise, promoting accessible and competitive markets, supporting businesses and other private-sector entities, and creating jobs and delivering necessary services to those who are poverty stricken or otherwise vulnerable.
EarthRights International (ERI)
- EarthRights International (ERI) is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, defined as “earth rights”.
- ERI specializes in fact-finding, legal actions against perpetrators of earth rights abuses, training grassroots and community leaders, and advocacy campaigns.
- Through these strategies, EarthRights International seeks to end earth rights abuses, to provide real solutions for real people, and to promote and protect human rights and the environment in the communities where we work.
- Examine the significance of the recent US Supreme Court verdict that allowed fishermen of Gujarat to prosecute World Bank affiliate, International Finance Corporation (IFC), for negligence and environmental damages.