Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Mar 23, 2021

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116th meeting of the “Permanent Indus Commission(PIC)”

What is the News?

India and Pakistan will hold the 116th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission(PIC) in New Delhi. They will discuss water sharing issues and address each other’s concerns with the Indus Water Treaty.

About Permanent Indus Commission(PIC):

  • The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan. It is created to implement and manage the goals of the Indus Water Treaty, 1960.
  • Meeting: The Commission according to the treaty must meet regularly at least once a year. The PIC will hold the meeting alternately in India and Pakistan.
  • Functions of the Permanent Indus Commission:
    1. To establish and promote cooperative arrangements for the Treaty implementation;
    2. Furnishing or exchange of information or data provided in the Treaty;
    3. Promote cooperation between the Parties in the development of the waters of the Indus system
    4. Examine and resolve any question in the agreement that arises between the parties.
  • Last Meeting: The last meeting of the PIC was held in Pakistan in 2018. The Commission was scheduled to meet in 2020, but it was cancelled in view of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Key Focus of the 116th Permanent Indus Commission(PIC) meeting:

  • India’s Projects on Indus River: The PIC will discuss Pakistan’s objections about two Indian projects:
    1. Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project(1,000 MW): It is being built by India on river Marusudar, a tributary of the Chenab. The project is located in Kishtwar district of J&K.
    2. Lower Kalnai Hydro Electric Project: It is being developed by India on the River Chenab.
  • Further, routine issues such as flood data exchange mechanisms are also expected to be discussed during the meeting.

About Indus Water Treaty:

  • The Indus Water Treaty,1960 is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan.
  • According to the treaty, waters of the eastern rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi had been allocated to India for unrestricted use. Similarly, the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab were allocated to Pakistan.
  • However, India has been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through a run of the river projects on the western rivers subject to specific criteria for design and operation.
  • Further, Pakistan also has the right to raise concerns on the design of Indian hydroelectric projects on western rivers.

Source: Indian Express

PM launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan: ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign on World Water Day.

About Catch the Rain Campaign:

  • Catch the Rain is a Jan Andolan campaign. It aims to take water conservation at the grass-root level through people’s participation. The campaign intends to accelerate water conservation across the country.
  • Aim: To encourage all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures(RWHS). As it is suitable for the climatic conditions and subsoil strata. These structures will ensure the proper storage of rainwater.
  • Tag line: Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls.
  • Implementation: The campaign will be implemented by the National Water Mission(NWM), Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • Coverage: The campaign will be undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas. It will be implemented from March 22 to November 30 (the pre-monsoon and monsoon period) in the country.

Key activities under the Catch the Rain Campaign:

The Catch the Rain Campaign will include certain key activities like,

  • Removal of encroachments and desilting of tanks. This will increase rainwater storage capacity.
  • The campaign includes drives to make water harvesting pits, rooftop RWHS and check dams.
  • Removal of obstructions in the channels bringing water from the catchment areas.
  • Repairs to traditional Water Harvesting Systems(WHS) like step-wells. Further, using defunct bore-wells and old wells to put the water back to aquifers.
  • States have been requested to open Rain Centers in each district. These Rain Centres will act as a technical guidance centre in RWHS.

About World Water Day:

  • World Water Day is being observed on 22 March by the United Nations (UN).
  • Aim: To raise awareness about people living without access to safe water and tackle the global water crisis.
  • Theme of world water day 2021: “Valuing Water”

Source: PIB

‘Jaapi’, ‘xorai’ and ‘gamosa’ in Assam

What is the News?

Decorative jaapi (field hats), hand-woven gamosa and bell-metal xorais are making frequent appearances in Assam as the election is coming closer.

About Jaapi:

  • Jaapi is a conical hat made of bamboo and covered with dried tokou leaves (Tokou is a palm tree found in the rainforests of Upper Assam).
  • Uses:
    • Jaapi is most often used in official functions in Assam to felicitate guests.
    • Jaapi is also used by farmers in Assam. They used them to protect themselves from the harsh weather, both sun and rain, while working in the fields.

About Xorai:

  • Xorai is essentially a tray with a stand at the bottom with or without a cover. It can be found in every Assamese household.
  • Uses:
    • Xorai is primarily used as an offering tray during prayers. They are also used to serve tamale-paan (betel-nut) to guests.
    • It is also presented along with the jaapi and gamosa while felicitating someone.
  • Made of: The bulk of xorai in Assam are made in the state’s bell metal hub Sarthebari in the Bajali district.

About Gamosa:

  • Gamosa is an article of significance for the people of Assam. It is generally a white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on three sides and red woven motifs on the fourth.
  • Made: Cotton yarn is the most common material used for making gamosa. But on special occasions, they are also made from Pat silk.
  • Uses: It can be used at home as a towel (uka gamosa) or in public functions (phulam/floral gamosa). This is also used to felicitate dignitaries or celebrities.

Source: Indian Express

India partnered with ‘United Nations Office for Project Services'(UNOPS)

What is the News?

The Ministry of Jal Shakti Ministry has entered a partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services(UNOPS) and the government of Denmark. The agreement aims to bring tap water connections to 11 water-scarce districts in Uttar Pradesh under the Jal Jeevan mission.

About United Nations Office for Project Services(UNOPS):

  • The United Nations Office for Project Services(UNOPS) was established in 1973 as part of the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP). It became an independent, self-financing organization in 1995.
  • Aim: It is dedicated to implementing projects for the United Nations System. Apart from that, UNOPS also help in project implementation of international financial institutions, governments and other partners around the world.
  • Significance: UNOPS is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group(UNSDG).
  • The headquarters of the United Nations Office for Project Services is located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Click Here to Read about Jal Jeevan Mission

About United Nations Sustainable Development Group(UNSDG):

  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Group(UNSDG) was established in 1997. It was previously known as the United Nations Development Group (UNDG).
  • It is a consortium of 36 United Nations funds, programs, specialized agencies, departments and offices playing a role in development.
  • The UNSDG was created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Furthermore, it is created with the intent to improve the effectiveness of United Nations development activities at the country level.
  • Headquarters: New York, United States

Click Here to Read about Jal Jeevan Mission(Urban)

Source: The Hindu

Initiatives under ‘Namami Gange Programme’

What is the News?

The Government of India is currently implementing several initiatives under the Namami Gange Programme to clean the polluted rivers of Ganga.

Namami Gange Programme:

  • Launched in: The Programme was launched in 2014. It is an Integrated Conservation Mission under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • Aim: To achieve effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of the National River(Ganga).
  • Main Pillars of the Programme:
    • Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure,
    • River-Surface Cleaning,
    • Afforestation,
    • Industrial Effluent Monitoring,
    • River-Front Development,
    • Biodiversity
    • Public Awareness among others.
  • Implementation: National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is the implementing agency of the Namami Gange Programme at the national level.
    • National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG): It is a statutory authority. It is established under the National Council for River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Act, 2016.
  • Projects under the programme: Presently, sewerage infrastructure works for pollution abatement is under execution on 13 tributaries of river Ganga. These include Yamuna, Kosi, Saryu, Ramganga, Kali(West), Kali (East), Gomti, Kharkari, Burhi Gandak, Banka, Damodar, Rispana-Bindal and Chambal.

Source: PIB

Jharkhand launched ‘SAAMAR campaign’ to fight malnutrition

What is the News?

The Jharkhand government has launched the SAAMAR campaign to tackle malnutrition in the state.

About SAAMAR Campaign:

  • Full-Form: SAAMAR is an acronym for Strategic Action for Alleviation of Malnutrition and Anaemia Reduction.
  • Aim: The SAAMAR campaign aims to identify anaemic women and malnourished children. Further, the campaign brings together various departments to effectively deal with the major malnutrition problem in the state.

Features of the campaign:

  • SAAMAR campaign has been launched with a 1000 days target. Under this annual surveys will be conducted to track the progress.
  • Every Anganwadi Centres will be engaged to identify malnourished children. Subsequently, they will be treated at the Malnutrition Treatment Centres.
  • Similarly, anaemic women will also be identified and will be referred to health centres in serious cases.

Why was this campaign launched?

  • According to NFHS-4 data, Jharkhand has some worrying level of malnutrition. The NFHS-4 data reveals the following trends.
    • Every second child in the state is stunted and underweight
    • Every third child is affected by stunting
    • Every 10th child is affected by severe wasting
    • Apart from that, around 70% of children are anaemic in the state.
  • Hence, the intervention was required with a ‘different approach to reduce malnutrition.

Source: Indian Express

India participated in ‘World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021’

What is the News?

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

 About World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021(WSIS):

  • World Summit on the Information Society(WSIS) is one of the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community.
  • The UN General Assembly approved the holding of WSIS in two phases. One in 2003 at Geneva and the other in 2005 at Tunis.
  • Aim: WSIS’s chief aim is to bridge the global digital divide separating rich countries from poor countries. The WSIS aims to achieve this by increasing internet accessibility in the developing world.
  • Organized by: The summit is co-organized by International Telecommunication Union(ITU), UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD.

About International Telecommunication Union(ITU):

  • International Telecommunication Union(ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
  • It was originally established in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union. It is one of the oldest international organizations in operations.
  • Members: It is open to all Member States of the United Nations. There are currently 193 Member States of the ITU. This includes all the UN member states except the Republic of Palau.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Source: PIB


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