UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 6th April 2022
Topics for the day:
- State of denotified tribes
- Sutlej Yamuna Link canal
- Green hydrogen sector in India
- Procurement of crops in India
- Strategic Framework for collaboration on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
- BrahMos sale to Philippines a bilateral deal
State of denotified tribes
- A standing committee of Parliament, in its report, has criticised the functioning of the development programme for de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes.
Who are de-notified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes?
- They are communities that were ‘notified’ as being ‘born criminals’ during the British regime under a series of laws starting with the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871.
- They are the most vulnerable and deprived.
- The Renke commission estimated their population at around 10.74 crore based on Census 2001.
What are the issues they face now?
- Lack of Constitutional Support: These tribes somehow escaped the attention of our Constitution makers and thus got deprived of the Constitutional support unlike Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- No categorisation: A number of these tribes are categorised under SC, ST and OBC, many are not.
- However, 269 DNT communities are not covered under any reserved categories.
- No money spent in 2021-22 under the Scheme for economic empowerment of DNT communities.
- Budgetary allocation has been reduced to Rs 28 crore for 2022-23 against the budgetary allocation of Rs 50 crore for 2021-22.
- Issues with the functioning of the Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DWBDNC).
- There is no permanent commission for these communities.
Reasons for their deprivation:
- These communities are largely politically ‘quiet’.
- They lack vocal leadership and also lack the patronage of a national leader.
- Lack of education.
- Small and scattered numbers.
Satluj-Yamuna Link canal(SYL) :
- The Haryana Assembly has passed a resolution seeking completion of the SYL Canal.
- The canal, once completed, will enable sharing of the waters of the rivers Ravi and Beas between the two states.
What is the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal, and the controversy over it?
- Historical background: The creation of Haryana from the old (undivided) Punjab in 1966 threw up the problem of giving Haryana its share of river waters.
- Punjab was opposed to sharing waters of the Ravi and Beas with Haryana, citing riparian principles, and arguing that it had no water to spare.
- However, Centre, in 1976, issued a notification allocating to Haryana 3.5 million acre feet (MAF) out of undivided Punjab’s 7.2 MAF.
- In a reassessment in 1981, the water flowing down Beas and Ravi was estimated at 17.17 MAF, of which 4.22 MAF was allocated to Punjab, 3.5 MAF to Haryana, and 8.6 MAF to Rajasthan.
- The Eradi Tribunal headed by Supreme Court Judge V Balakrishna Eradi was set up to reassess availability and sharing of water.
- The Tribunal, in 1987, recommended an increase in the shares of Punjab and Haryana to 5 MAF and 3.83 MAF, respectively.
Status of the Canal :
- To enable Haryana to use its share of the waters of the Sutlej and its tributary Beas, a canal linking the Sutlej with the Yamuna, cutting across the state, was planned.
- A tripartite agreement was also negotiated between Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan in this regard.
- The Satluj Yamuna Link Canal is a proposed 214-kilometer long canal to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers.
- However, the proposal met obstacles:
- Sharing of water became one of issues for khalistan movement.Hence union got involved and proposed link canal involving Delhi and rajasthan
- 1985 – After rajiv-longoval accord that accepted the construction of the canal and setting up of tribunal to publish award which in 1987 reduced share of punjab hence not accepted.Became so controversial that it has not been published in gazette till now.
- 1990 – construction neared about 90% completion but was stopped due to militants gunning down two senior engineers and 30 labourers
- The plan is to link satluj and yamuna rivers – haryana had already completed its share and given advance to punjab for its completion too.
- 2004 – Punjab assembly passed a resolution terminating all previous agreements with all states.This was opposed by Haryana and referred to the SC under 143 by centre.
- 2016 – SC held action of punjab assembly unconstitutional.Since elections were due all parties took extreme stands.
- 2016 – Govt of punjab has brought an act to denotify the acquired land meant for the project.It started returning back the acquired land.This was challenged and SC ordered maintenance of status Quo
- SC in various orders had asked centre,Punjab to complete construction of the canal.But not stopped actions even after repeated directions by SC.
Green Hydrogen sector in India :
- Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Larsen & Toubro (L&T), and ReNew Power (ReNew) have signed a binding term sheet to set up a Joint Venture (JV) company to develop the green hydrogen sector in India.
- India can become a hub for green hydrogen as the country has an inherent advantage in the form of abundant renewable energy.
- Producing hydrogen from renewables in India is likely to be cheaper than producing it from natural gas.
Steps taken for green hydrogen in India :
- The Centre has released draft guidelines on the National Hydrogen Mission which aims to increase production to 5 million metric tonnes (MMT) by 2030 to meet about 40 percent of domestic requirements.
- The centre is considering a proposal to introduce a Rs 15,000-crore Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for electrolysers.
- In February, the centre notified a green hydrogen and green ammonia policy that offers 25 years of free power for any new renewable energy plants set up for green hydrogen production before July 2025.
More about Hydrogen :
- Hydrogen is an alternative fuel that can be produced from diverse domestic resources
- It is abundant in our environment and it’s stored in water (H2O), hydrocarbons (such as methane, CH4), and other organic matter
- Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be used to store, move, and deliver energy
- Hydrogen with its abundance, high energy density, better combustion characteristics, non- polluting nature etc. has vast advantages over the conventional fuels
Types of hydrogen depending upon process of extraction:
- Green hydrogen: It is derived by electrolysis of water using renewable energy and has no carbon footprint.
- Grey hydrogen: Derived from natural gas and fossil fuels through process of steam methane reforming (SMR)
- Blue hydrogen: Also sourced from fossil fuels and by-products are CO, CO2 however by-products are captured and stored, so better than grey hydrogen.
Production of Hydrogen :
- Current global demand of hydrogen is being produced from fossil fuels
- 76% from natural gas and around 23% from coal, with the remaining from electrolysis of water
- In India, hydrogen is being commercially produced in the fertilizer industry, petroleum refining and chemical industries and also as a by-product in chlor-alkali industries
- Cleaner methods of hydrogen production chiefly constitute electrolysis, via chemical or photo electro-chemical routes
Telangana Cabinet to protest outside parliament over procurement of paddy
- The Telangana Cabinet will sit on a day-long dharna in Delhi protesting against the Union government’s alleged discriminatory paddy procurement policy
- The Centre has refused to procure paddy from Telangana this Rabi season, reiterating its stand that it would only purchase raw rice and not parboiled rice, which the majority of the State produces in this season.
Procurement of crops in India at MSP:
- MSP is a form of government intervention to insure the farmers against a steep decline in the prices of their goods and to help them prevent losses.
- The government of India sets the MSP twice a year for 24 commodities.
- This is done by the government to protect the farmers against a fall in prices in a year of bumper production.
- When the market price falls below the declared MSP, the government would purchase the entire quantity from the farmers at MSP.
Crops covered under MSP :
? Sunflower seed
? Safflower seed
|Sugarcane (fair and remunerative price)|
Factors the procurement is based :
- This procurement is based on the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) which decides the minimum support price taking into account the following factors:
- The entire structure of the economy of a particular commodity or group of commodities
- Cost of production
- Changes in input prices
- Input-output price parity
- Trends in market prices
- Demand and supply
- Inter-crop price parity
- Effect on industrial cost structure
- Effect on the cost of living
- Effect on the general price level
- International price situation
- Parity between prices paid and prices received by the farmers
- Effect on issue prices and implications for subsidy
Strategic Framework for collaboration on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
- The World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and UNEP have developed a Strategic Framework for collaboration on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
- This Framework reflects the joint work of the four organizations to advance a One Health response to AMR at the global, regional and country level
What is antimicrobial resistance ?
- Anti microbial resistance is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc.) against antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics) that are used to treat infections.
- Because of this resistance standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others
- Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”
Reasons for Spread of AMR :
- Antibiotic consumption – Unnecessary use of antibiotics and fixed dose combinations could lead to emergence of bacterial strains resistant to multiple antibiotics
- Self-medication by people and Lack of knowledge about when to use antibiotics.
- Access to antibiotics without prescription resulting in the over the counter usage of antibiotics.
- Mass bathing in rivers as part of religious mass gathering occasions
- Antibiotics which are critical to human health are commonly used for growth promotion in poultry. Ex.OXYTOCIN
- The wastewater effluents from the antibiotic manufacturing units contain a substantial amount of antibiotics, leading to contamination of rivers and lakes
- Untreated disposal of sewage water bodies leads to contamination of rivers with antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant organisms
- Lack of hygiene and Infection Control Practices in Healthcare Settings. A report on hand-washing practices of nurses and doctors found that only 8% of them washed hands after contact with patients
BrahMos sale to Philippines a bilateral deal
- While the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was a joint development between India and Russia, the sale of the systems to the Philippines was a transaction between the two countries, and India would be able to move ahead on a “bilateral basis”
- The Philippines was also given a clarification on the accidental BrahMos missile launch recently.
- The first agreement was signed only in March last year, a second agreement in November and the deal was signed this January 2022.
- This is a frontline system in the Indian defence forces and the fact that India is willing to share has been appreciated by the Philippines
- Also Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. had offered to do a technical briefing on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and there was a “degree of interest” from Manila.
More about the Brahmos :
- Jointly developed by India and Russia.
- Extended range: 350 to 400-km.
- Speed: Flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8.
- Types: Can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft or land.
- Nomenclature: The name BrahMos is a blend formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
- Engine: First stage: Solid rocket booster; Second stage: Liquid ramjet (airbreathing jet engine).
- Significance: It is the world’s fastest Anti-Ship Cruise Missile currently in operation.
- Future plans: In 2016, as India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), India and Russia are now planning to jointly develop a new generation of Brahmos missiles with 800 Km range.
UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 6th April 2022
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