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Madhya Pradesh’s Happiness Dept. to open Time Bank

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Time Banks

Mains level : Concept of Time Bank and its benefits


News

Time Bank in MP

  • The Madhya Pradesh government’s Happiness Department plans to set up a Time Bank that would lend currency to an hour, which could be exchanged to learn a new skill without the need for any paper money.
  • Whenever a bank member needs a service or wants to acquire a skill, say gardening or playing a guitar, she could exchange a credit, worth an hour, with another member knowing the skill.
  • It is a new way to link untapped social capacity to unmet social needs.
  • At the start, the 50,000 volunteers registered with the department through local networks will form community-level banks and list skills they could impart or services they could offer.
  • An experienced volunteer will induct new members and keep a record of all the transactions.
  • Whether one need someone to drive you to a supermarket, tend to an ailing grandmother or simply a jogging partner, it could all be sought at the bank.

Benefits

  • In Madhya Pradesh, time banks will enable person-to-person, person-to-agency and agency-to-agency transactions.
  • Members will start with zero credits, which they could gradually acquire by imparting skills. Credits can even go in negative.
  • And in case a skill becomes popular over time benefiting only a few members, other members will be compelled to do their mite with vigour to collect more credits.

About the concept

  • Conceived at the Cincinnati Time Store in 1827, the concept gained currency with the setting up of the first Time Bank in Japan in 1973, and later when Edgar Cahn, CEO of TimeBanks USA, popularised ‘Time Dollars’.
  • Today, there are more than 500 such communities across 32 countries.

Krishna Water Dispute

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Krishna Basin

Mains level : Krishna water dispute



News

  • The Krishna river dispute took a new turn this week, when Maharashtra and Karnataka agreed to jointly oppose AP’s application seeking a relook at the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal’s 2010 order on water distribution between the riparian states.

The Krishna river dispute

  • The Krishna is an east-flowing river that originates at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and merges with the Bay of Bengal, flowing through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and AP.
  • Together with its tributaries, it forms a vast basin that covers 33% of the total area of the four states.
  • A dispute over the sharing of Krishna waters has been ongoing for many decades, beginning with the erstwhile Hyderabad and Mysore states, and later continuing between successors.

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal

  • In 1969, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up under the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, and presented its report in 1973.
  • The report, which was published in 1976, divided the 2060 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water at 75 per cent dependability into three parts.
  • It was 560 TMC for Maharashtra, 700 TMC for Karnataka and 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.
  • At the same time, it was stipulated that the KWDT order may be reviewed or revised by a competent authority or tribunal any time after May 31, 2000.
  • Afterward, as new grievances arose between the states, the second KWDT was instituted in 2004.
  • It delivered its report in 2010, which made allocations of the Krishna water at 65 per cent dependability and for surplus flows as follows: 81 TMC for Maharashtra, 177 TMC for Karnataka, and 190 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.

After the KWDT’s 2010 report

  • Soon after the 2010 report was presented, AP challenged it through a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court in 2011.
  • In an order in the same year, the apex court stopped the Centre from publishing it in the official Gazette.
  • In 2013, the KWDT issued a ‘further report’, which was again challenged by Andhra Pradesh in the Supreme Court in 2014.
  • After the creation of Telangana from AP in 2014, the Water Resources Ministry has been extending the duration of the KWDT.

Row over share

  • Andhra Pradesh has since asked that Telangana be included as a separate party at the KWDT and that the allocation of Krishna waters be reworked among four states, instead of three.
  • Maharashtra and Karnataka are now resisting this move. On September 3, the two states said: Telangana was created following bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Therefore, allocation of water should be from Andhra Pradesh’s share which was approved by the tribunal.

Duo’s stance

  • It is relying on Section 89 of The Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Act, 2014, which reads:
  • The term of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal shall be extended with the following terms of reference, namely:
  1. shall make project-wise specific allocation, if such allocation has not been made by a Tribunal constituted under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956;
  2. shall determine an operational protocol for project-wise release of water in the event of deficit flows.
  • For the purposes of this section, it is clarified that the project-specific awards already made by the Tribunal on or before the appointed day shall be binding on the successor States.

TN’s Dindigul lock and Kandangi Saree get GI tag

Mains Paper 3 : Intellectual Property Rights |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the GI tag

Mains level : Benefits of GI Indications


News

  • Two well-known products from Tamil Nadu — Dindigul lock and Kandangi Saree — have been given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by The Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai.

Dindigul Lock

  • The Dindigul locks are known throughout the world for their superior quality and durability, so much so that even the city is called Lock City.
  • Government institutions such as prisons, godowns, hospitals, and even temples use these locks instead of other machine-made ones.
  • The application for the lock was made by the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Workers Industrial Co-operative Society Limited.
  • More than 3,125 lock manufacturing units are limited to an area of 5 km in and around Dindigul.
  • The abundance of iron in this region is the reason for the growth of the industry.
  • There are over 50 varieties of locks made by the artisans using raw materials such as MS flat plates and brass plates procured from the nearby towns, including Madurai and Salem.

Kandangi Saree

  • The Kandangi sarees are manufactured in the entire Karaikudi taluk in Sivaganga district.
  • They are characterised by large contrast borders and some are known to have borders covering as far as two-thirds of the saree which is usually around 5.10 m-5.60 m in length.
  • Worn in summer, these cotton sarees are usually bought by customers in bulk.
  • The Amarar Rajeev Gandhi Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production and Sales Society Limited filed the application for the Kandangi saree.

Back2Basics

Geographical Indications in India

  • A Geographical Indication is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
  • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
  • Recently the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India.
  • The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act) is a sui generis Act for protection of GI in India.
  • India, as a member of the WTO enacted the Act to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Geographical Indications protection is granted through the TRIPS Agreement.
GI(Geographical Indicator) Tags

Tamil Yeoman declared state butterfly of TN

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Tamil Yeoman

Mains level : Significance of Insects



News

  • The state of Tamil Nadu has recently declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais)as its state butterfly to symbolise its rich natural and cultural heritage, in a move aimed at boosting the conservation efforts of the attractive insects.

Tamil Yeoman

  • Locally known as Tamil Maravanmeaning ‘Tamilian Warrior’, the canopy butterfly, usually sized between 60 and 75mm, belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies or the Nymphalid.
  • The winged wonder, with its natural zigzag patterns near its bright orange-coloured wings and its aesthetic dots, has always been a fascination for local nature enthusiasts.
  • It was chosen for its cultural identity linking the state through its name and is abundance in hilly areas.
  • Endemic to the biodiversity hotspot of Western Ghats, Tamil Yeoman is usually seen at the foothills and moist evergreen forests of the state’s mountainous regions.
  • Known to have a straight flight with few wing beats and long glide, the butterfly is actively spotted in forest streams too.

Other state species

  • This is the latest addition to Tamil Nadu’s existing symbols from the natural world – palmyra as the state tree, gloriosa lily as the state flower, emerald dove as the state bird, jackfruit as the state fruit and Nilgiri tahr as the state animal.
  • With the latest policy initiative, it has become the fifth India state after Maharashtra (Blue Mormon), Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern birdwings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock) to bestow a state emblem status to one of its colourful insects.

Why state designation to butterflies?

  • Butterflies are great bio-indicators of an ecosystem as they are highly sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, sunlight, humidity and rainfall patterns.
  • Butterflies are not only great pollinators but also play a crucial role in the food chain.
  • Their presence, patterns and migration assist in mapping the climatic health of a region and are they are perhaps the most studied insect group across the world.
  • Tamil Nadu’s naturally elongated geographical placement combined with the presence of Eastern and the Western Ghats generate a variety of habitats with diverse ecological conditions allowing plenty of ‘butterfly hotspots’.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

J&K Public Safety Act

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the Act

Mains level : Issues with the act


News

  • A former IAS officer was recently detained under the J&K Public Safety Act (PSA).

J&K Public Safety Act (PSA)

  • The Jammu and Kashmir PSA) which received the assent of the J&K Governor on April 8, 1978.
  • The Act was introduced by the government of Sheikh Abdullah as a tough law to prevent the smuggling of timber and keep the smugglers “out of circulation”.
  • The law allowed the government to detain any person above the age of 16 without trial for a period of two years.
  • It allows for administrative detention for up to two years in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State, and for administrative detention up to one year where any person is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
  • Detention orders under PSA can be issued by Divisional Commissioners or District Magistrates.
  • Section 22 of the Act provides protection for any action taken “in good faith” under the Act.
  • No suit, prosecution or any other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith in pursuance of the provisions of this Act.

Issues with the act

  • It is often referred to as a “draconian” law.
  • However, right from the beginning, the law was misused widely, and was repeatedly employed against political opponents by consecutive governments until 1990.
  • After the emergence of militancy, the J&K government frequently invoked the PSA to crack down on separatists.
  • In the aftermath of the killing of a sympathized terrorist in July 2016, hundreds of youths in the Valley were detained under PSA, with extendable detention periods.
  • In August 2018, the Act was amended to allow individuals to be detained under the PSA outside the state as well.
J&K – The issues around the state

Delimitation of Constituencies in J&K

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Delimitation commission

Mains level : Mandate of the Delimitation commission



News

  • The Election Commission held internal discussions on the delimitation of constituencies ahead of elections to the new Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Resizing new constituencies

  • According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the UT of J&K would be increased from 107 to 114.
  • The total population would be divided over the 114 seats to get an average number of electors per constituency.
  • The Act also specifies that delimitation will be based on the 2011 census till 2026.

Back2Basics

Delimitation Commission of India

  • The Delimitation commission or Boundary commission of India is a commission established by the Government of India under the provisions of the Delimitation Commission Act.
  • The main task of the commission is redrawing the boundaries of the various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on a recent census.
  • The representation from each State is not changed during this exercise. However, the numbers of SC and ST seats in a state are changed in accordance with the census.
  • The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • The Commission is a independent body whose orders cannot be challenged in any court of law.
  • The orders are laid before the Lok Sabha and the respective State Legislative Assemblies. However, modifications are not permitted.
  • Delimitation commissions have been set up four times in the past — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 — under Delimitation Commission Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
  • The most recent delimitation commission was set up on 12 July 2002 after the 2001 census with Justice Kuldip Singh, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court as its Chairperson.
J&K – The issues around the state

Jalyukta Shivar Scheme

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Jalyukta Shivar Scheme

Mains level : Various initiatives for water conservation


News

  • PM in his latest Mann ki Baat emphasized on the need for dedicated efforts towards water conservation and ‘Jal Shakti, Jan Shakti’ initiative which is inspired from Jalyukta Shivar scheme of Maharashtra.
  • Such regional schemes can be a benchmark for their replication at pan India level.

Jalyukta Shivar Scheme

  • Jalyukta Shivar is the flagship programme of the Maharashtra government launched in December 2014 which aims to make 5,000 villages free of water scarcity.
  • The scheme targeted drought-prone areas by improving water conservation measures in order to make them more water sustainable.
  • It envisaged to arrest maximum run-off water, especially during the monsoon months, in village areas known to receive less rainfall, annually.

Initiatives under the scheme

  • Under the scheme, decentralized water bodies were installed at various locations within villages to enhance the groundwater recharge.
  • Besides, it also proposed to strengthen and rejuvenate water storage capacity and percolation of tanks and other sources of storage.
  • Dedicated committees were formed to assist in construction of watersheds like farm ponds, cement nullah bunds alongside rejuvenating the existing water bodies in the villages.

Why such scheme?

  • About 82 per cent area of Maharashtra falls is rainfed sector while 52 per cent of area is drought prone.
  • This, when coupled with natural rainfall variability and long dry spells during the monsoons, severely hampers agriculture activities.
  • Since 2014, hundreds of villages in Marathwada, central Maharashtra and Vidarbha have experienced droughts for consecutive years.
  • For instance, when the scheme was launched in 2014, a total of 23,811 villages in 26 out of the total 36 districts were declared drought-hit.
  • The scheme, thus, aimed at addressing these water issues mainly by building decentralized water bodies at local levels that could aid in better groundwater recharge especially in areas where water scarcity was very high.

 How does this intervention work?

  • Under the scheme, water streams in a locality are deepened and widened, which would later be connected to the newly constructed chains of cement nullah bunds in the village.
  • Besides, efforts would be made to arrest and store water in small earthen dams and farm ponds in such areas.
  • While new interventions are made, maintenance of existing sources like canals and all kinds of wells would be undertaken.
  • Activities like desilting of water conservation structures and repairs of canals are undertaken to help improve water storage and percolation at the site.
  • Additionally, recharge of dug and tubewells would be taken up in specific locations.
  • A mobile-app developed by the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre (MRSAC) for quick monitoring of the scheme is functional in this respect.

Expected Outcomes

  • While there are both short and long-term outcomes envisioned by the government, the purpose remains to strengthen the rural economy, which continues to be largely agriculture-driven.
  • The government plans to achieve this goal of improving farmer income by addressing the basic problem pertaining to availability of water for farming or irrigation purposes.
  • Included in the immediate outcomes of the scheme are reduction in the run-off water and diverting it to some kind of storage, increasing water storage capacity, increasing the rate of groundwater recharge, enhancing soil fertility and ultimately, improving farm productivity.
  • The long-term outcomes after the scheme matures, include reducing water scarcity in villages that have limited natural supply, improving in risk management or becoming drought resilient and improving water availability through effective management.
  • Through such timely interventions, the government aims to address the food and water security of its villages.

Progress card of the scheme

  • More than 11,000 villages where Jalyukta Shivar was introduced are declared drought-free.
  • The water storage capacity has been improved to 1.6 lakh Trillion Cubic Metre (TMC).
  • The overall scheme has so far benefitted 20 lakh hectares of protected irrigated land, which increased the cropping intensity to 1.25 to 1.5 times than before.
  • The overall agriculture productivity jumped up 30 to 50 per cent from areas where the intervention measures reached.
  • Importantly, the water tanker dependency in these areas has also dropped.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Plan Bee

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Plan Bee

Mains level : Elephant connservation efforts



News

Plan Bee

  • Plan Bee an amplifying system imitating the buzz of a swarm of honey bees to keep wild elephants away from railway tracks earned the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the 2018-19 fiscal.
  • A device was designed to generate the amplified sound of honey bees audible from 700-800 metres.
  • The first instrument was installed at a level crossing west of Guwahati on a track adjoining the Rani Reserve Forest, an elephant habitat.
  • The Plan Bee device has been helpful in diverting herds of elephants, especially when trains approach and dashing becomes imminent.
  • A mix of Plan Bee and other measures have helped them save 1,014 elephants from 2014 to June 2019.

Why such plan?

  • The desperation to find an “elephant repellent” was triggered by 67 jumbos being knocked down by trains from 2013 to June 2019.
  • Most of these cases were reported from Assam and northern West Bengal.
  • There are 29 earmarked elephant corridors with the operating zone of NFR spread across the north-eastern states and parts of Bihar and West Bengal.
  • Trains are required to slow down at these corridors and adhere to speed specified on signs.
  • But elephants have ventured into the path of trains even in non-corridor areas, often leading to accidents resulting in elephant deaths.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Tamil Yeoman declared Tamil Nadu’s state butterfly

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Tamil yeoman

Mains level : Not Much



News

  • Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) butterfly species endemic to Western Ghats has been declared the state butterfly of Tamil Nadu.

About Tamil Yeoman

  • Uniformly orange in colour with a dark brown outer ring, Tamil Yeoman is among the 32 butterfly species found in the Western Ghats.
  • This butterfly species moves in groups in large numbers, but only in a few places.
  • Also known as Tamil Maravan, which means warrior, these butterflies are found mainly in the hilly areas.
  • An expert team was involved in identifying butterfly species to be declared state butterfly.
  • The team had shortlisted two butterfly species – Tamil yeoman and Tamil Lacewing.
  • The Tamil Yeoman was selected. Both butterfly species are unique in their own ways.
  • The Tamil Lacewing butterfly is very rare and difficult to sight which may have been a reason for the government to prefer Tamil Yeoman.

Why it’s special?

  • For the first time Tamil Nadu has declared its state butterfly and only fifth in the country to do so.
  • Maharashtra was the first to declare Blue Mormon as its state butterfly, followed by Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern bird wings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock).
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

J&K Reservation Bill

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art. 370

Mains level : Row over Art. 370


News

  • Recently Rajya Sabha has passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill.
  • Passed by Lok Sabha last week, the Bill partially amends a Presidential Order of 1954 in order to amend the state’s Reservation Act.

About the Bill

  • The Bill amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 and replaces an Ordinance promulgated on March 1, 2019.
  • The earlier Act provided for reservation in appointment and promotions in state government posts, and admission to professional institutions for certain reserved categories.
  • The Act provides for reservation in appointment and promotions in certain state government posts to persons belonging to socially and educationally backward classes.
  • It defines socially and educationally backward classes to include persons living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control.

Amendments to the Bill

  • With the constitutional amendments, the benefits of reservation available to the residents along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been extended to residents living along the International Border (IB).
  • This benefits residents in Jammu, Samba and Kathua.
  • Through the Presidential Order, the Cabinet applied the 77th Constitutional Amendment of 1995 to J&K, giving benefits of reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in government service.
  • The Cabinet also applied the 103rd Constitutional Amendment of 2019 to J&K, which gave 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections among people in the general category.

What is the 1954 executive order?

  • The 1954 order is an executive order issued by the President under Article 370 to extend provisions of an Act of Parliament to J&K State, which can be done only with the concurrence of the state government.
  • The Constitution of India applies to Jammu & Kashmir by virtue of Article 370, which provides a mechanism for the way it applies.
  • Article 370 defines state government as ‘the Maharaja’ and/or the ‘Sadar-i-Riyasat’ aided by a council of ministers.

Then what is the controversy?

  • At the centre of the controversy is the question whether the Governor, in the absence of an elected government, has the authority to give consent to extend a law of Parliament and change the constitutional arrangement between J&K and the Union.
  • While bringing the ordinance, the Union govt. said the amendments were recommended by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by J&K Governor.
  • While no one in J&K has opposed the decision to provide benefits to SCs, STs and EWS, there has been opposition to the route taken by the Centre and its nominee the J&K Governor.
  • It is accused that Union Govt. “breached” Article 370 while issuing the amendment to the 1954 Presidential Order.

Issue with Governor’s authority

  • The issue of the Governor’s powers was defined by the Supreme Court in Mohammad Maqbool Damnoo versus State of J&K (1972).
  • While dealing with the replacement of an elected Sadr-i-Riyasat with the Centre-appointed Governor, the court observed that a Governor is “head of government aided by a council of ministers”.
  • It is not as if the state government, by such a change (replacing elected Sadr-i-Riyasat with Centre-appointed Governor) is made irresponsible to the state legislature.

Arguments by regional parties

  • One of the main regional parties has challenged the amendment to the Presidential Order of 1954.
  • The regional parties contend that “concurrence” means the concurrence of an elected government, and not that of a nominated government.
  • Elected govt. is a must for any amendment to the Presidential Order of 1954, and that this is thus in contravention of Article 370.
  • They contend that the government means an elected government and that the President cannot seek concurrence of the Governor because “the Governor is a representative of the President”.
J&K – The issues around the state

[pib] Resilient Kerala Program

Mains Paper 3 : Disaster Management |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Resilient Kerala Program

Mains level : Disaster management


News

  • The Union, the Govt. of Kerala and the World Bank have signed a Loan Agreement of for the First Resilient Kerala Program to enhance the State’s resilience against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

Resilient Kerala Program

  • The Resilient Kerala Program is part of the GoI’s support to Kerala’s ‘Rebuild Kerala Development Programme’ aimed at building a green and resilient Kerala.
  • The Program, which represents the First ‘State Partnership’ of the World Bank in India, is the First of two Development Policy Operations aiming to mainstream disaster and climate resilience into critical infrastructure and services.
  • The World Bank partnership will identify key areas of policy and institutional strengthening to maximize development impact.
  • The Program will focus on strengthening the State’s institutional and financial capacity to protect the assets and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable groups through an inclusive and participatory approach.

 Aim and Objectives

The program aims to support the State with:

  • improved river basin planning and water infrastructure operations management, water supply and sanitation services
  • resilient and sustainable  agriculture, enhanced agriculture risk insurance
  • improved resilience of the core road network
  • unified and more up-to-date land records in high risk areas
  • risk-based urban planning and strengthened expenditure planning by urban local bodies
  • strengthened fiscal and public financial management capacity of the state

Why such programme?

  • The 2018 floods and landslides in Kerala led to severe impact on property, infrastructure, and lives and livelihoods of people.
  • One sixth of the State’s population – about 5.4 million people – was affected while 1.4 million were displaced from their homes, especially the poor and vulnerable segments of the population.
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

Ahmedabad-Kobe Sister City Partnership

Mains Paper 1 : Urbanization, Their Problems & Remedies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sister City

Mains level : India-Japan bilateral relations


News

  • Authorities from the Japanese city of Kobe exchanged a Letter of Intent (LoI) with their counterparts in Ahmedabad for a sister city partnership.
  • This will pave the way for an enhanced economic relationship between the two vibrant cities as well as the two countries.

Why such LoI?

  • The LoI was exchanged in the presence of PM Modi, who visited Kobe to address a large Indian diaspora event.
  • In November 2016, Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe inked a sister-state relationship MoU for Gujarat and Hyogo prefecture.
  • Kobe is the capital city of Hyogo. That time, PM had also visited a bullet train plant in Kobe.
  • The MoU sought to promote mutual cooperation between Gujarat and Hyogo in the fields of academics, business, cultural cooperation, disaster management and environmental protection.

Sister Cities

  • Sister cities are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, cities, counties, oblasts, prefectures, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.
  • They are mostly affectionately named agreements between certain towns, cities, provinces or in some cases, countries all across the globe.
  • In each case the towns have come to an agreement or partnership, some of which are legally binding, where others are purely symbolic and social.
  • It’s here that the beauty and charm of the sister city is found: the voluntary forging of ties to encourage cultural understanding, friendship and exchange, as well as more practical applications, like trade agreements and business partnerships.

The City Diplomacy

  • In recent years, the term “city diplomacy” has gained increased usage and acceptance, particularly as a strand of paradiplomacy and public diplomacy.
  • The importance of cities developing their own foreign economic policies on trade, foreign investment, tourism and attracting foreign talent” has also been highlighted by the World Economic Forum.
Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc.

‘Jal Hi Jiwan’ Scheme in Haryana

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Jal Hi Jivan Scheme

Mains level : Groundwater management


News

  • Farmers in paddy-growing districts of Haryana have agreed to opt for maize and other alternatives after the state government offered major incentives for crop diversification.
  • This was done in an attempt to address the rapidly falling groundwater levels in the state.

 ‘Jal Hi Jiwan’ Scheme

  • The ‘Jal Hi Jiwan’ scheme envisages diversification of 50,000 hectare area of non-basmati rice mainly into maize, pulses or oilseeds to achieve the target.
  • Apart from seeds and financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per hectare, the farmer’s share of crop insurance will also be borne by the government.
  • After it emerged that the groundwater level has depleted in 76% area of the state, Haryana launched the pilot scheme.
  • The objective of the scheme is to replace paddy with maize in seven major paddy-growing districts: Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Karnal and Sonipat.
  • According to the state Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, the farmers have formally registered for alternative plantations over 40,000 hectares of land.

Why substitute Paddy Cultivation?

  • Paddy is not suitable for Haryana because it puts tremendous stress on the groundwater due to its water-intensive nature.
  • According to agriculture department officials, 1 kg of rice requires 2,000-5,000 litres of water, depending upon its variety, soil type and time of sowing.
  • With paddy production jumping, the number of tubewells in the state also shot up from a few thousand to 8 lakh, resulting in overdrawing of groundwater.
  • Experts also say that it has exhausted the soil health while the crops like arhar, pulses and oilseeds require minimum fertilizers.
  • If farmers opt for maize in place of rice, the water saved per hectare will be about 14 lakh litres per crop season.

Rise in dark zones

  • These are zones where the water table has fallen to a critical level, and the rate at which water is being drawn is much more than the pace at which it is being recharged.
  • In the last two decades, the farmers have pumped out much as 74% of the groundwater reservoirs.
  • If over-exploitation of the water continues, parts of Haryana will turn into a desert in the coming years.

First such scheme ever

  • Haryana is the first state to implement water-saving scheme involving sowing maize as an alternative crop.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Flood Hazard Zonation Atlas for Odisha

Mains Paper 3 : Disaster Management |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Flood control and management



News

  • Odisha has come out with a unique flood hazard atlas on the basis of historic flood inundation captured through satellite imagery over the period from 2001 to 2018.
  • It is expected to help the State manage floods more efficiently.

Flood Hazard Zonation Atlas

  • The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the ISRO had taken the study on flood hazard Zonation for Odisha.
  • A large number of satellite images acquired over 18 years (2001-2018) were used. All satellite data sets were analysed and flood layers were extracted.
  • All the flood layers corresponding to a year are combined as one inundation layer, so that this layer represents the maximum flooded area in one year.
  • The NRSC analysis says about 8.96% (13.96 lakh hectares) of land in Odisha was affected by floods during 2001-2018. Out of total flood-affected area (13.96 lakh hectares), about 2.81 lakh hectares of land falls under high (inundated seven-nine times) to very high (inundated 10-14 times) flood hazard categories.
  • Eight out of 30 districts such as Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghapur, Balasore, Puri, Jajpur, Khordha and Cuttack districts are more flood-affected districts.
  • As high as 77% of Bhadrak and 70% of the Kendrapara district have been categorised as flood hazard.

Why Odisha?

  • Vast areas of the State are inundated when there is flooding every year in major rivers, namely, the Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Rushikulya.
  • Some of the rivers like, the Vamsadhara and Budhabalanga, also cause flash floods due to instant run-off from their hilly catchments.
  • Damages due to floods are caused mainly by the Mahanadi, the Brahmani and the Baitarani, which have a common delta where floodwaters intermingle, and, when in spate simultaneously, wreak considerable havoc.
  • The entire coastal belt is prone to storm surges, which is usually accompanied by heavy rainfall, thus making the estuary region vulnerable to both storm surges and river flooding.

A useful resource

  • All such combined flood layers for 18 years were integrated into flood hazard layer representing the observed flood-inundated areas with different frequencies.
  • This layer was integrated with the digital database layers of Odisha.
  • The atlas would serve as a useful resource of information for policy makers, planners and civil society groups.
Disasters and Disaster Management – Sendai Framework, Floods, Cyclones, etc.

Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP)

Mains Paper 3 : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc. |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project

Mains level : Lift Irrigation


News

  • Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) claimed as the world’s largest multi-stage and multi-purpose lift irrigation scheme, was inaugurated.

About the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project

  • The Kaleshwaram project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme taken up by the government in 2007 when Andhra Pradesh was not divided.
  • It is aimed to make Telangana drought proof by harnessing the flood waters of the Godavari.
  • Waters of the Godavari will be tapped by reverse pumping and storage, thereby facilitating agriculture on over 38 lakh acres.
  • It would help rejuvenate thousands of tanks, providing water for industries, and supplying drinking water to Hyderabad and Secunderabad by creating a series of storage tanks and a network of pipelines.

Which rivers are involved?

  • The project starts at the confluence point of Pranahita River (amajor tributary of Godavari River) and Godavari River.
  • Pranahita river is a confluence of various other smaller tributaries like Wardha, Penganga and Wainganga Rivers.
Irrigation In India – PMKSY, AIBP, Watershed Management, Neeranchan, etc.

Sadikpur Sinauli site expected to get ‘national importance’ tag

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Harrapan Sites

Mains level : Read the attached story



News

  • Sadikpur Sinauli, an ancient site with chariots, swords and other objects pointing to the presence of a warrior class around 4,000 years ago could be declared a site of national importance soon.
  • Archaeological Survey of India declares monuments/sites as ‘protected and of national importance’ under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

About Sadikpur Sinauli

  • Sinauli is an archaeological site located in Baraut tehsil, Baghpat district, western Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • The site is famous for its Bronze Age “chariots”, the first ones to be recovered in archaeological excavation in South Asia.
  • Local legends tell that Sinauli is one of the five villages that god Krishna unsuccessfully negotiated with the Kaurava princes to avoid the War at Kurukshetra.
  • The excavations were conducted by ASI in 2005-06 and in mid-2018.
  • As per ASI and later studies the remains found in 2005-06, the “Sanauli cemetery”, belonged to Late Harappan Phase.

Major findings

  • Major findings from 2018 trial excavations include several wooden coffin burials, “chariots”, copper swords, and helmets.
  • The wooden chariots – with solid disk wheels – were protected by copper sheets.
  • Among the treasures unearthed are three chariots, legged coffins, shields, swords and helmets – all which point towards a warrior class that must have existed around 2,000 BCE.
  • The site was the largest necropolis (cemetery) of the late Harappan period of the early 2nd millennium BCE.
Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

‘Back to the village’ Outreach Programme

Mains Paper 2 : Governance, Transparency & Accountability, Citizens Charters |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : About the programme

Mains level : Ensuring effective governance in J&K


News

  • The Jammu and Kashmir state government has launched its ambitious outreach programme, ‘Back to the Village’.

 Back to the Village

  • As part of the program, bureaucrats will spend the next 36 hours in different panchayats, gathering feedback from people on development of their areas.
  • The eight-day programme is being organised across all Panchayats of the state.
  • Under the ‘Back to the Village’ programme, government officers will be spending two days and one night in different panchayats.
  • During their stay, they will hold meetings with elected ‘panches’ and ‘sarpanches’, hold ‘gram’ (village) and ‘mahila sabhas’ (women assemblies) in addition to other grassroots level interactions.
  • The programme will involve the people of the state and government officials in a joint effort to deliver the mission of equitable development across all our rural areas.
  • The feedback obtained during the exercise will help the government in assessing and subsequently tailoring the various central and state government schemes to improve delivery of village-specific services.

Objectives of the programme

  • The outreach initiative is primarily aimed at energizing the 4,483 panchayats and directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation and to create in the rural masses an earnest desire for a decent standard of living.
  • The basic objective of this programme is to move governance from its seat of operation to the doorsteps of the people in villages.
  • It will focus on four main goals viz. energising panchayats, collecting feedback on delivery of government schemes and programmes, capturing specific economic potential and undertaking assessment of needs of villages, besides affording an opportunity to gazetted officers to visit the villages.
J&K – The issues around the state

E-Foreigner Tribunal (e-FT)

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : E-Foreigners Tribunal

Mains level : Citizenship issue in Assam


News

  • The Centre has approved setting up of e-Foreigner Tribunal (e-FT) in Assam.

E-FT System

  • Aim: To maintain a statewide bio-metric and biographic data and to capture the illegal migrants’ data to computerize data flow for all the stakeholders.
  • The proposed integrated e-FT IT system will be implemented across Assam for effective monitoring and resolution of cases registered with Foreigner Tribunal.
  • The main objective of the project is to maintain a statewide bio-metric and biographic data, to capture the illegal migrants’ data to computerize data flow for all the stakeholders.
  • It will also help in the legalization of eligible beneficiaries for welfare schemes.
  • The new IT system will not only strengthen the Judiciary in the disposal of cases but also help Police organization in faster detection, prosecution and detention.
  • This will enhance the transparency of case disposal process.  It will also help in legalization of eligible beneficiaries for welfare schemes.
Citizenship and Related Issues

Abujh Maria PVTGs

Mains Paper 2 : Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted For The Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Abujh Maria PVTGS

Mains level : PVTGS in India



News

  • The Chhattisgarh government is processing habitat rights for Abujh Marias, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

  • Tribal communities are often identified by some specific signs such as primitive traits, distinctive culture, geographical isolation, shyness to contact with the community at large and backwardness.
  • Along with these, some tribal groups have some specific features such as dependency on hunting, gathering for food, having pre-agriculture level of technology, zero or negative growth of population and extremely low level of literacy.
  • These groups are called Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.

Characteristics of PVTGs

  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups.
  • In 2006, the GoI renamed the PTGs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • PVTGs have some basic characteristics -they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, social institutes cast in a simple mould, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc.

PVTGs in India

  • In this context, in 1975, the GoI initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups.
  • In 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 STs, spread over 17 states and 1 UT in the country (2011 census).

Identifying PVTGs

  • PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
  • Due to this factor, more developed and assertive tribal groups take a major chunk of the tribal development funds, because of which PVTGs need more funds directed for their development.
  • Government of India designed a procedure to identify PVTGs.
  • According to the procedure, the state governments or UT governments submit proposals to the Central Ministry of Tribal Welfare for identification of PVTGs.
  • After ensuring the criteria is fulfilled, the Central Ministry selects those groups as PVTGs.

For additional information, navigate to the page:

PVTGs

http://vikaspedia.in/social-welfare/scheduled-tribes-welfare/primitive-vulnerable-tribal-groups

Tribal Development

[pib] President’s (not Governor’s) Rule in J&K

Mains Paper 2 : Federalism |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : President's rule in J&K

Mains level : Read the attached story


News

  • Based on the prevailing situation in the state as stated in the report of Governor of J&K, the Union Cabinet has approved the extension of President’s Rule in J&K for a further period of six months under article 356(4) of the Constitution of India.

Why not Governor’s Rule?

  • Under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no provision for further continuation of Gov. Rule after six months.
  • Hence, on the recommendation of Governor, the President issues a proclamation promulgating President’s Rule in J&K under article 356 of the Constitution of India.

What is Governor’s rule in J&K?

  • In all states of India, the state government’s failure results in President’s rule.
  • The process is slightly more nuanced in Jammu and Kashmir where not the President’s but Governor’s rule is imposed.
  • The Constitution of India grants special status to J&K among Indian states, and it is the only state in India to have a separate Constitution and regulations specific to it.
  • Under the provision of Section 92 of the J&K Constitution, Governor’s rule is imposed for six months, but only after the consent of the President of India.
  • The President’s rule in other states of India is imposed under Article 356 of the Constitution of India.
  • Under the Governor’s rule, the State Assembly is either kept in suspended animation or dissolved.

History of Governor’s Rule

  • The Governor’s rule was imposed on the state for the first time in March 1977, when the Congress withdrew support to a government led by the late Sheikh Abdullah.
  • Among notable differences with other states, till 1965, the head of state in J&K was called Sadr-e-Riyasat, whereas in other state, the title was Governor, and head of government was called Prime Minister in place of Chief Minister in other states.

Back2Basics

President’s Rule

J&K – The issues around the state