21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020

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IASbhai Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020-21 is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS 2021.

When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there. –Zig Ziglar

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project

      HEADLINES:

Kaleshwaram eco-clearance violates law: NGT

      WHY IN NEWS:

Tribunal directs Centre to appoint expert panel on remedial measures

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Dams

      ISSUE: 

Environmental clearance (EC) to the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) was granted ex post facto, after completion of substantial work, by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) “in violation of law

21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Water flowing into the delivery cistern from the pressure pumps of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project.

KALESHWARAM LIFT IRRIGATION PROJECT (KLIP)

MULTI-PURPOSE PROJECTS

The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) is a multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in Kaleshwaram, Telangana.

BACKGROUND

  • This project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme taken up by the Congress government in 2007 when Andhra Pradesh was not divided.
  • After the formation of Telangana in 2014, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government redesigned the project on the ground that the original plan had too many environmental obstacles and had very low water storage provision.
  • With the help of highly advanced Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey and study of flows in Godavari at different locations the project was divided.
  • The government separated the original project into two projects- Pranahitha project and Kaleshwaram project.

OBJECTIVE OF KLIP

  • The main target of this project is to harness the flood waters of the Godavari River so that Telangana can be made drought-proof.
  • Under this project, water of the Godavari will be tapped by reverse pumping and storage which would raise the water level in the whole state .

This will lead to refill 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.

  • This project has been designed to meet 70% drinking water requirement of the state and to irrigate 45 lakh acres of land for two crops in a year.
  • This project will support Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya, which were designed to provide drinking water to many villages and improve the capacities of tanks in the Telangana.

FEATURES OF KLIP

  • It has the longest tunnel to carry water in Asia, running up to 81 km, between the Yellampally barrage and the Mallannasagar reservoir.

The project would also utilise the highest capacity pumps, up to 139 MW, in the country to lift water.

  • This project has provision for the storage of about 148 tmc ft with plans of utilising 180 tmc ft by lifting atleast 2 tmc ft water every day for 90 flood days.
  • The project is designed to irrigate 7,38,851 hectares (over 18.47 lakh acres) uplands in the erstwhile districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • This is the first time the water of the river Godavari has been lifted to the height of 92 meters for the agricultural irrigation and for water supply.
  • The maximum height of this water lifting is 618 meters in Kondapochamma (Telanagana).
  • The cost of this project is around Rs. 80,500 cr.

NGT OBSERVATIONS

  • NGT has also observed that accountability needs to be fixed and remedial measures taken.
  • NGT has directed the MoEF&CC to constitute a seven-member expert committee preferably out of expert appraisal committee (EAC) members with relevant sectorial expertise .
     SOURCES:THE HINDU | 21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

One China policy

      HEADLINES:

China opposes India-Taiwan trade ties

      WHY IN NEWS:

‘One-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community’

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

China on Tuesday asked India to approach ties with Taiwan “prudently and properly”, and said it would “firmly oppose” any official exchanges between New Delhi and Taipei.

THE TUSSLE

  • The statement from China’s Foreign Ministry came in response to reports that India and Taiwan were considering going forward with talks on a trade deal.
  • India and Taiwan in 2018 already signed a bilateral investment agreement.
  • India-Taiwan trade ties have expanded since, and Taiwanese firms are prominent investors in India, although India and Taiwan do not maintain formal diplomatic relations.

WHAT IS THE ‘ONE CHINA’ POLICY?

It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government.

Under the policy, the US recognises and has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.

  • The One China policy is a key cornerstone of Sino-US relations.
  • It is also a fundamental bedrock of Chinese policy-making and diplomacy.
  • The US policy is not an endorsement of Beijing’s position and indeed as part of the policy.
  • Washington maintains a “robust unofficial” relationship with Taiwan, including continued arms sales to the island so that it can defend itself.

Although Taiwan’s government claims it is an independent country officially called the “Republic of China”, any country that wants diplomatic relations with mainland China must break official ties with Taipei.

  • This has resulted in Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation from the international community.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The ‘One-China principle’ is a universal consensus of the international community.
  • It is also the political basis for China to develop ties with other countries.
     SOURCES:IE | 21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Smart fencing

      HEADLINES:

Hybrid model of ‘smart’ fence being tested along the LoC

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hi-tech sensors will be added to the existing fence.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 :3 : Internal Security : Defence

      ISSUE: 

There is a rethink on converting the entire fence over a 700 km stretch into a smart one due to the high cost.

SMART FENCING

  • The Army has significantly improved its electronic surveillance along the Line of Control (LoC) to check infiltration.
  • A smart fence integrated with several sensors is under way.

COST FACTOR

  • A hybrid model is now being adopted.
  • The new hybrid model of the smart fence being tested will cost around ₹10 lakh per km and 60 km is being attempted this year.
  • The earlier proposal for a hi-tech fence was to cost around ₹10 crore for 2.4 km.

WHAT IS SMART FENCING?

The fence will be integrated with LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors, infrared sensors and cameras among others.

  • Troops have also been given drones, both big and small, to monitor the ground.
  • The smart fencing will include a web of surveillance, communication and data storage devices that would create an invisible electronic barrier on land, water, in air and underground.
  • It will enable surveillance during difficult weather conditions and reduce the need for physical patrolling of the borders.

It will rely on thermal imaging, infra-red and laser-based intruder alarms to stop infiltration.

SIGNIFICANCE

  • The smart fencing project is expected to be a massive boon for monitoring security situations in border areas.
  • It will virtually become impossible for terrorists to infiltrate into the Indian side of the border.
  • With this smart fencing, the number of casualties of soldiers on borders would get minimised and the stress level among them too is expected to reduce to a large extent.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

For India, a total of 2,026 km border is vulnerable. After the current project, similar project in under progress along the India-Bangladesh border.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

India-US defence deals

      HEADLINES:

What’s in India-US defence deals

      WHY IN NEWS:

At 2+2 meeting next week, the two countries will look to push intelligence sharing pact BECA. With key deals LEMOA and COMCASA already signed, what does it mean for defence, particularly in light of LAC standoff?

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

KEY DEALS

BECA

  • The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement largely pertains to geospatial intelligence, and sharing information on maps and satellite images for defence.
  • Anyone who sails a ship, flies an aircraft, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on geospatial intelligence.

Signing BECA will allow India to use the US’s advanced geospatial intelligence and enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.

  • It will give access to topographical and aeronautical data and products that will aid navigation and targeting.
  • This could be key for Air Force-to-Air Force cooperation.

LEMOA

  • The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement was signed between India and the US in August 2016.

It allows the military of each country to replenish from the other’s bases: access supplies, spare parts and services from the other country’s land facilities, air bases, and ports, which can then be reimbursed.

  • This is extremely useful for Navy-to-Navy cooperation, since the US and India are cooperating closely in the Indo-Pacific.
  • In military terms, one’s Naval ships are strategic assets and use of another country’s base would expose one’s military asset to the host.

COMCASA

  • The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement was signed in September 2018.

It allows the US to provide India with its encrypted communications equipment and systems so that Indian.

  • Also, US military commanders, aircraft and ships can communicate through secure networks in peace and war.
  • COMCASA paved the way for transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India to facilitate “interoperability” between their forces .

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • While LEMOA means one partner trusts the other enough to expose its valuable assets.
  • COMCASA means one is confident that it can rely on encrypted systems to connect the two militaries.
  • BECA means it can share highly classified information in real time without fear of being compromised.
  • All this signals the level of trust that has developed between the two countries and their militaries, faced with an increasingly aggressive China.
     SOURCES:IE | 21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Heeng in the Indian Himalayas

      HEADLINES:

Why scientists are trying to cultivate heeng in the Indian Himalayas

      WHY IN NEWS:

How was the asafoetida (heeng) cultivation project set in motion?

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Agriculture

      ISSUE: 

India imports about 1,200 tonnes of raw heeng worth Rs 600 crore from Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

HEENG CULTIVATION

21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

  • Scientists at CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource, Palampur (IHBT), are on a mission to grow heeng in the Indian Himalayas.
  • The first sapling has been planted in Himachal Pradesh’s Kwaring village in Lahaul valley last week.

WHAT IS ASAFOETIDA ?

  • Ferula asafoetida is a herbaceous plant of the umbelliferae family.
  • It is a perennial plant whose oleo gum resin is extracted from its thick roots and rhizome.
  • The plant stores most of its nutrients inside its deep fleshy roots.

Asafoetida is endemic to Iran and Afghanistan, the main global suppliers. 

  • It thrives in dry and cold desert conditions.
  • While it is very popular in India, some European countries too use it for its medicinal properties.

FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS

  • Asafoetida best grows in dry and cold conditions.
  • “The plant can withstand a maximum temperature between 35 and 40 degree, whereas during winters, it can survive in temperatures up to minus 4 degree.
  • During extreme weather, the plant can get dormant.

Regions with sandy soil, very little moisture and annual rainfall of not more than 200mm are considered conducive for heeng cultivation in India.

  • Some initial experiments were conducted in high altitude districts of Mandi, Kinnaur, Kullu, Manali and Palampur in Himachal Pradesh.

BENEFITS

Studies list out a range of medicinal properties of heeng, including relief for digestive, spasmodic and stomach disorders, asthma and bronchitis

  • The herb is commonly used to help with painful or excessive bleeding during menstruation and pre-mature labour.
  • Being an anti-flatulent, the herb is fed to new mothers.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • It is very early to comment on the output of asafoetida cultivation as yet.
  • Experts say the plant takes about five years to produce the extractable olego gum resin.
  • By the end of this year, the target is to cover one hectare with heeng cultivation and take it to 300 hectares during the next five years.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 21st Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

 

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