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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th March 2021

  • IASbaba
  • March 24, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Jaapi, Xorai and Gamosa

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – I – Culture

In news

  • Decorative jaapis (field hats), hand-woven gamosas and bell-metal xorais are making frequent appearances in Assam due to upcoming Assembly elections.

Important value additions

  • Jaapi: It is a conical hat made of bamboo and covered with dried tokou (a palm tree found in rainforests of Upper Assam) leaves.
  • Today, the bulk of Assam’s jaapis are made by artisans based in a cluster of villages in Nalbari district.
  • Gamosa: It has wide-ranging uses. It can be used at home as a towel (uka gamosa) or in public functions (phulam/floral gamosa) to felicitate dignitaries or celebrities.
  • Xorai: It is made of bell-metal. It essentially is a tray with a stand at the bottom, with or without a cover. It can be found in every Assamese household.


Sanctions imposed on China for Uighur abuse

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Relations

In news

  • The European Union, USA, Britain, and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials and entities, for human rights abuses against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province.
  • The sanctions from EU, UK and Canada include travel bans and freezing of assets.

Key takeaways

  • It is significant that the Western powers moved together.
  • This is the first time the EU has imposed sanctions on China since an arms embargo after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
  • That embargo is still in place.
  • EU sanctions show a hardening of stance against its largest trading partner. Also
  • China has consistently denied all reports of atrocities against Uighurs, maintaining it is only “deradicalizing” elements of its population in the interests of security.

Do you know?

  • Xinjiang has a large number of Uighurs, Muslims of Turkic descent.
  • Over the past few decades, more and more Han Chinese have settled in Xinjinag, which saw violent clashes between them and the Uighurs.
  • China is now accused of putting over a million people in internment camps to “de-Muslimise” them and make them integrate better in the Communist country.
  • Survivors and human rights organisations have alleged physical, psychological and sexual torture.
  • People can be sent to the camps for showing any signs of “extremism” — sporting beards, fasting during Ramzan, dressing differently from the majority, sending Eid greetings, praying “too often” etc.

Initiatives of National Health Mission (NHM)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Health ; Policies and interventions

In news

  • The Union Cabinet was apprised on the progress under National Health Mission (NHM) during FY 2019-20.

Key takeaways

NHM has envisaged new Initiatives in 2019-20:

  • Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS): To accelerate action to reduce deaths due to childhood pneumonia.
  • Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN): To provide assured, dignified, respectful and quality healthcare at no cost and zero tolerance for denial of services and all existing Schemes for maternal and neonatal health have been brought under one umbrella.
  • Midwifery Services: To create a cadre of Nurse Practitioners in Midwifery who are skilled in accordance to competencies prescribed by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and are knowledgeable and capable of providing compassionate women-centered, reproductive, maternal and new-born health care services.
  • School Health and Wellness Ambassadors: has been launched under the AB-HWCs Programme in partnership with Ministry of Education to promote health and well-being through an active lifestyle amongst school children.

World Summit on Information Society Forum 2021

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – International Relations

In news

  • Union Telecom Minister represented India at the World Summit on Information Society Forum 2021.

Key takeaways

  • Under the flagship program BharatNet, nearly 6,00,000 villages are being connected through laying of more than 4,00,000 Km length of optical fiber cable and use of satellite communication services.
  • Through submarine cable networks small and remote islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep and other inaccessible areas are being connected with funding from Government.
  • Establishment of ITU Area office and Innovation Centre in India with involvement of SMEs, Academia and Startups in the region will go a long way in development of technologies, standards and solutions best suited for rural and remote areas of developing nations.

Important value additions

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2021

  • It represents one of the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.
  • Co-organized by: International Telecommunications Union (ITU), UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD.

Ken Betwa Link Project

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Policies and interventions 

In news

  • Memorandum of Agreement between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project took place recently
  • It is the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers

Key takeaways

  • This project involves transfer of water from the Ken to the Betwa River through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr Project, Kotha Barrage and Bina Complex Multipurpose Project.
  • It will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh ha, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 MW of hydropower.
  • The Project will benefit water starved region of Bundelkhand.

RCE of Comprehensive Scheme for Strengthening of Transmission & Distribution in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim 

Part of: GS Prelims and  GS – II –  Policies and interventions

In news

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of Comprehensive Scheme for Strengthening of Transmission & Distribution in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim at an estimated cost of Rs. 9129 crore.

Key takeaways

  • The scheme is being implemented through POWERGRID, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under Ministry of Power in association with Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The scheme was initially approved in December, 2014 as a Central Sector Plan Scheme.
  • The entire cost of the scheme will be borne by the Central Government
  • It is targeted to be commissioned in phased manner by December 2021.
  • After commissioning, the created transmission and distribution system will be owned and maintained by the respective State Utilities.
  • It is a major step towards economic development of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim through strengthening of Intra – State Transmission and Distribution systems.

(Mains Focus)


ENVIRONMENT/ ECONOMY/ DEVELOPMENT

Topic:

  • GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development

Ken-Betwa Interlinking Project

Context: A memorandum of agreement was signed between Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to implement the Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP).

Source: Indian Express

What is the Ken Betwa Link Project?

  • Interlinking of rivers: The Ken-Betwa Link Project is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers. Under this project, water from the Ken river will be transferred to the Betwa river. Both these rivers are tributaries of river Yamuna
  • First Phase: The Ken-Betwa Link Project has two phases. Under Phase-I, one of the components — Daudhan dam complex and its appurtenances like Low Level Tunnel, High Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa link canal and Power houses — will be completed.
  • Second Phase: While in the Phase-II, three components — Lower Orr dam, Bina complex project and Kotha barrage — will be constructed.
  • Estimated Cost: According to the Comprehensive Detailed Project Report, the cost of Ken-Betwa Link Project is estimated at Rs 35,111.24 crore at 2017-18 prices.
  • Region Benefitted: The Ken-Betwa Link Project lies in Bundelkhand, a drought-prone region, which spreads across 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. This project is going to immensely benefit this backward region and help bridge the regional imbalance.
  • Panna Tiger Reserve Affected: Out of the 6,017 ha of forest area coming under submergence of Daudhan dam of Ken Betwa Link Project, 4,206 ha of area lies within the core tiger habitat of Panna Tiger Reserve
  • Environmental Concerns: A report of the forest advisory committee said that an estimated 4.6 million trees will be cut down for the project which will adversely affect the rain in the already dry Bundelkhand region.
  • Clearance Requirement: Generally, 4-5 types of clearances are required for the interlinking of river projects. These are:
    • Techno-economic (given by the Central Water Commission)
    • Forest Clearance and Environmental clearance (Ministry of Environment & Forests)
    • Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Plan of Tribal Population (Ministry of Tribal Affairs)
    • Wildlife clearance (Central Empowered Committee)

Benefits of Ken-Betwa Project

The project is expected to provide

  • Annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectares,
  • Drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people
  • Generate 103 mw of hydropower.
  • It will pave the way for more interlinking of river projects to ensure that scarcity of water does not become an inhibitor for development in the country.

Are there previous examples of river-linking in India?

  • In the past, several river linking projects have been taken up. For instance, under the Periyar Project, transfer of water from Periyar basin to Vaigai basin was envisaged.
  • It was commissioned in 1895. Similarly, other projects such as Parambikulam Aliyar, Kurnool Cudappah Canal, Telugu Ganga Project, and Ravi-Beas-Sutlej were undertaken

Recent developments on interlinking of rivers in India

  • In the 1970s, the idea of transferring surplus water from a river to water-deficit area was mooted by the then Union Irrigation Minister (earlier the Jal Shakti Ministry was known as Ministry of Irrigation) Dr K L Rao.
  • Rao, who himself was an engineer, suggested construction of a National Water Grid for transferring water from water-rich areas to water-deficit areas.
  • Similarly, Captain Dinshaw J Dastur proposed the Garland Canal to redistribute water from one area to another. However, the government did not pursue these two ideas further.
  • It was in August, 1980 that the Ministry of Irrigation prepared a National Perspective Plan (NNP) for water resources development envisaging inter basin water transfer in the country.
  • The NPP comprised two components: (i) Himalayan Rivers Development; and (ii) Peninsular Rivers Development.
  • Based on the NPP, the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) identified 30 river links—16 under Peninsular component and 14 under Himalayan Component.
  • Later, the river linking idea was revived under the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government.
  • Ken Betwa Link Project is one of the 16 river linking projects under the Peninsular component.

Connecting the dots

  • Do you think river interlinking is the most suitable way forward for water management in India? Critically examine.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Consider the following statements:

  1. Xorai is a conical hat made of bamboo and covered with dried tokou
  2. Jaapi is made of bell-metal. It essentially is a tray with a stand at the bottom, with or without a cover.

Which of the above is or are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2 Uighurs, often seen in news, belong to which of the following Country? 

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Japan
  3. Turkey
  4. China

Q.3 Consider the following statements regarding initiatives under National Health Mission:

  1. Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) was launched to accelerate action to reduce deaths due to childhood pneumonia.
  2. Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) was launched to provide assured, dignified, respectful and quality healthcare at no cost and zero tolerance for denial of services.

Which of the above is or are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWERS FOR 23rd March 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 C
2 C
3 D

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