Inter-state River Water Dispute( Amendment) Bill
The Lok Sabha has passed two crucial river water dispute bills (Interstate river water dispute bill and the Dam safety bill), awaiting the Rajya Sabha approval.
To put it in context, river water disputes have been one of the most contagious issues in the Indian federal setup.
Significant issues with the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956:
- Multiple Tribunals-Multiple tribunals create more significant confusion, e.g., there is eight interstate water dispute tribunal including the Ravi and Beas tribunal and the Krishna water dispute tribunal.
- Lack of Compliance Framework-There is no mention regarding the adjudication or publication of the reports putting up a very shabby compliance system.
- Composition of the tribunals-They are not multidisciplinary and are mainly from the judiciary; moreover, there is no upper age limit fixed for the position of the chairman.
- The absence of data-Lack of baseline data acceptable to all creates a lot of problems for adjudication.
Key provisions of the bill:
- Dispute resolution committee-(DRC)The Bill provides for the creation of a DRC by the Central Govt for settling disputes amicably, which will submit its report to the Central Govt.
- Members of DRC-They are coming from relevant fields, thus having a multidisciplinary approach.
- Permanent Tribunal-It seeks to dissolve the existing tribunals and create a standalone Tribunal with permanent establishment and infrastructure.
- Composition of the Tribunal-The tribunal shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and not more than six nominated members (judges of the Supreme Court or a High Court), nominated by the CJI. The central government may appoint two experts serving in the Central Water Engineering Service, not below the Chief Engineer’s rank, as assessors to advise the bench in its proceedings.
- Time Allotted to take decision-Under this provision, the tribunal’s decision must be given within two years, extendable by a maximum of one year.
Issues with the bill:
- Issues with the DRC-Not much clarity is made out how the DRC will work? , whether it is adequately empowered or is it a part of the permanent tribunal, also there is the challenge of making the DRC process more neutral and meaningful by the states.
- Conflict with the Judiciary-The SC in 2006 has said it has jurisdiction to hear matters related to Cauvery water disputes; recently, in Feb 2018, it modifies the allocations of the Cauvery water dispute tribunal, so the bill doesn’t address this.
- Selection of tribunal judges-The selection of the tribunal judges by the committee consisting of the prime minister or a nominee as the Chairperson, the Minister of Law and Justice, the Minister of Jal Shakti, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has the risk of politicizing, not just disputes but also the process of adjudication.
Context in point:
- The Jammu and Kashmir Govt has published the list of beneficiaries under the Roshni Act.
- The law was declared null and void recently by the administration.
There were allegations related to irregularities of the Jammu and Kashmir States Land Act, also known as the Roshini Act.
Reason for scrapping:
- In 2009 the State Vigilance Officer registered an FIR against several Government officials regarding criminal conspiracies to publish the beneficiaries who did not qualify the criteria under this act.
- In the 2014 CAG report against the 25000 crores, only 75 crores have been realized from encroached land, and the report blamed several irregularities like arbitrary reduction in prices to influence affluent people.
About the Roshni Act:
- Enacted in 2001, the law seeks to regularise unauthorised land.
- The Act envisaged the transfer of ownership rights of state land to its occupants on subject to payment of cost as determined by the government. It also gave ownership rights of agricultural land to farmers for free with just a minimal documentation charge.
- It was said that the revenue generated would be used for commissioning hydroelectric projects.
The Maharashtra Government has approved Mumbai’s first desalination plant.
- The proposed plant will process 200 million litres of water daily to overcome the water shortage faced in May and June.
- The BMC is planning to take the Swiss Challenge Method for this project.
- Under this, a project can be awarded to a private entity on an unsolicited proposal and happens on a first come first serve basis.
About Desalination Plants:
- It turns salt water into drinking water by using the process of reverse osmosis and pressure is applied to push solvent from high concentration and low concentration.
- Mostly set in areas that have access to seawater, In India found in the areas of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh.
- High cost for setup.
- Disposal of byproduct from the salinisation process.
Pangda Village: New Checkpoint by China
- It’s a new village built by China.
- Built on the disputed territory between China and Bhutan.
- The area is east of the India-Bhutan-China trijunction on the Doklam plateau, the site of a 72- day stand-off in 2017.
Previous moves by China:
- The claim was made by China at the 58th Global Environment Facility meeting that the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Eastern Bhutan belonged to them.
- In Doklam the Chinese authorities wanted to take over a territory called Doklam which was very close to India’s Chicken Neck Corridor connecting the North- East to mainland India.
- The Stand-off finally ended with diplomatic interference.
Storm in making: Cyclone Nivar
Succeeded by cyclones ‘Amphan’, ‘Nisarga’ and ‘Gati’, ‘Nivar’ is headed towards Karaikal in Puducherry and is expected probably to make landfall on 25th November.
- Nivar is the third name to be used from the new list of North Indian cyclones prepared in 2010, the name Nivar was suggested by Iran.
- Amphan, which was proposed by Thailand, was the last name in the 2004 series.
- Nisarga was named by Bangladesh which hit Maharashtra recently, and India suggested Gati which made landfall on Somalia on Nov 22.
Naming of cyclones:
- The names for tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are suggested by Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen according to the formula agreed by the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in its 27th session in 2000.
- In recent times India has proposed several names Gati (speed), Tej (speed), Marasu (musical instrument in Tamil), Aag (fire) and Neer (water), among others, for the new list.
Reason for Tropical Storms:
- Water evaporates from the sea and comes into contact with cold air forming clouds.
- A column of low pressure is formed and as the centre for low pressure (eye) weakens speed of wind increases.
Current Account Surplus likely
- India may record a current account surplus due to reduction in import by the downfall of the economy caused by COVID-19 crisis.
- This crisis is different from the world witnessed during the taper Tarentum.
- It refers to the 2013 collective reactionary response that triggered a rise in the US treasury yields after investors learnt that the US Fed was slowly closing on its quantitative easing (QE) program. This led to a surge in the inflation to high double digits emerging economies.
- Current account captures the net trade in goods and services, net earning on investment and net transfer payment over a period of time typically a year or crucial.
- A current account provides crucial information about the economy and a higher balance of current account indicates more exports than imports explaining healthy foreign exchange flow.
India‘s current account now:
- India‘s current account has largely been on the deficit side due to higher imports than exports, some of the imports are crude oil, gold and electronics.
- Limited domestic production and lack of domestic infrastructure, logistical issues like cost of capital, tax and tariffs than other countries have deterred our growth for exports.
- Lack of growth and increased imports have impacted our current account thereby keeping it in higher deficit.
Aviation Safety Awareness Week 2020
Airport Authority of India (AAI) has begun the Aviation Safety Awareness Week from 23rd November to 27th November 2020 to raise awareness on airports and Air Navigation Service locations managed by AAI across India.
- Inaugurated by Arvind Singh, Chairman of AAI virtually inaugurated the celebration of Aviation Safety Awareness week.
- The central theme -‘ Raise awareness on Aviation safety’.
- Goal – During the virtual inauguration, Manish Kumar, Deputy Director General(DDG) and DGCA( Directorate General of Civil Aviation) highlighted the long term objective of achieving Zero fatality by 2030, envisioned by ICAO in its Global Safety plan.
Primary points to note:
- To raise awareness, AAI will undertake many employee engagements like reviewing documents, mock exercises etc.
- Many social campaigns will also be launched, including awareness programs in school colleges and among local residents regarding aviation safety.
- To educate different stakeholders, banners and posters would be displayed at AAI offices and operation centres.
- AAI has planned to develop at least 100 Airports, Waterdomes, Heliports under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme by 2024.
China sends its spacecraft to Moon
China successfully deployed an unmanned spacecraft to the moon on 24 November 2020 to gather samples and carry them back to Earth. The spacecraft was launched by the Long March-5 rocket at 4.30 a.m. (Beijing Time).
Called after the traditional China goddess from the moon, the Chang’e-5 probe was released by China from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the South Province of Hainan. It’s going to attempt to gather the resources from the moon. This will also assist scientists better determine enough about its source and its layer.
If China succeeds in its goal, it will become the third nation to collect moon samples, after the Soviet Union and the United States decades earlier. The mission would also check China’s ability to completely capture samples from orbit.
This will be the first effort by any country in the world to collect samples from the Earth’s natural satellite that since the 1970s. China often plans to retrieve specimens from Mars by 2030. China has launched an autonomous mission to Mars in July 2020. It would be its first solo mission to some other world.
IESC’s partnership with FICCI Ladies Organisation
The IESC which is known as the Incubation and Enterprise Support Centre from IIM Shillong has concluded an MoU along with the FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) with aim of providing advice and guide the development of start-ups and businessmen.
About the IESC Leader:
IESC Leader who is Sanjeeb Kakoty and FLO Country President Jahnabi Phookan violated the contract for their respective companies.
The overall motive of the MOU should be to provide a nurturing, insightful and welcoming atmosphere for entrepreneurs during the crucial phases of launching a new enterprise, and to improve the possibility for a start-up to thriving, shorten the period and lower the cost of developing and expanding its company.
Communicating about the function of the FLO as well as its cooperation with the SDGs, Phookan argued that FLO’s vision under its presidency is to focus on maintaining sustainable practises and building sustainable living standards for female empowerment emancipation to become enough wealth creators rather than job-seekers.
Har Ghar Nal Yojana: PM Modi’s drinking water projects
On Sunday, the Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi started the construction for rural drinking water schemes in Mirzapur as well as Sonbhadra districts of UP through teleconferencing.
Introducing ‘Har Ghar Nal Yojna’ (tap water for every family), PM Modi also engaged with community water as well as sanitation committee representatives during the case.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath graced the gathering.
About the project:
The projects would provide tap water connectivity in all rural communities of 2,995 villages and therefore will support the approximately 42 lakh populaces of these districts.
Village water and sanitation councils have been set up in all these villages and would be responsible for service and maintenance.
The overall projected cost of the schemes is 5.555.38 crore. The schemes are expected to be completed within 24 months of the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ declared by the PM on 15th August last year.
India gets its first moss garden
The Uttarakhand Forest Dept has devoted the newly constructed Moss Garden to the folks insisting that this is the first of that kind garden in the nation, expanded over 10 hectares throughout the Kumaon of Nainital district. The Moss Garden, that also took almost a year to be built, was launched by the Indian Rajendra Singh Water Man. The State Forestry Department has authorised research studies to analyse moss species, which are considered to be the most key measure of ecosystem volatility because they are more attuned to adaptation and environmental degradation.
About “Moss Garden” as follows:
The Moss Garden, situated close Khurpatal under that same CAMPA scheme, has been developed within the framework of a project approved in July 2019 to safeguard hundreds of species of moss as well as other bryophytes and try to raise awareness of the ecological as well as other helpful positions of moss in our environment.