13 December 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam

International Youth Exchange Programme

  • It is conducted by Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
  • The objective of this programme is to create an International perspective in the youth and to involve them in promoting peace and understanding.
  • Youth from India are sent to a few friendly countries and vice-versa under the “International Youth Exchange Programme” for promoting exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst the youth of different countries and also to develop International understanding.

Amenities on National Highways

  • NHAI is constructing Highway Nests (Mini) at toll plazas for convenience of highway users for their safe and comfortable journey.
  • It has provision of kiosks for sale of dry snacks, tea and coffee vending machine and water ATM
  • In addition, there is a provision of Ladies and Gents toilets at Toll plazas of NHAI for convenience of Highway users.
  • NHAI has issued directions to all its Regional Officers that the construction/operation & maintenance of Highway Nests (Mini) may be awarded to State Government managed State Co-operative Societies interested in running these facilities for road users.
  • As part of incident management under operation and maintenance of the NH stretches, Highway ambulances are deployed in their respective service area to extend assistance in case of any emergency on National Highways.

Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS)

  • They are enhancements to the Global Positioning System (GPS) which provide improved location accuracy, in the range of operations of each system, from the 15-meter nominal GPS accuracy to about 10 cm in case of the best implementations
  • DGPS uses a fixed, known position to adjust real time GPS signals to eliminate pseudorange errors.

Water Conservation Fee (WCF)


  • In order to comply with various directions of the Hon’ble NGT and to address various shortcomings in the existing guidelines of ground water extraction, the Central Ground Water Authority, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation notified revised guidelines for ground water extraction.
  • The revised guidelines aim to ensure a more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in the country.


  • Ground water extraction in India is primarily for irrigation in agricultural activities, accounting for nearly 228 BCM (Billion Cubic Meter), which amounts to 90% of the annual ground water extraction.
  • The remaining 10% of extraction (25 BCM) is for drinking & domestic as well as industrial uses.
  • Industrial use is estimated to account for only about 5% of the annual ground water extraction in the country.
  • India is the largest user of ground water in the world, extracting ground water to the tune of 253 bcm per year, which is about 25% of the global ground water extraction.


  • The WCF payable varies with the category of the area, type of industry and the quantum of ground water extraction and is designed to progressively increase from safe to over-exploited areas and from low to high water consuming industries as well as with increasing quantum of ground water extraction.
  • The high rates of WCF are expected to discourage setting up of new industries in over-exploited and critical areas as well as act as a deterrent to large scale ground water extraction by industries, especially in over-exploited and critical areas.
  • The WCF would also compel industries to adopt measures relating to water use efficiency and discourage the growth of packaged drinking water units, particularly in over-exploited and critical areas.

Other salient features of the revised guidelines

  • They are encouraged to use recycled and treated sewage water by industries, provision of action against polluting industries, mandatory requirement of digital flow meters, piezometers and digital water level recorders (with or without telemetry depending upon quantum of extraction), mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe and semi-critical and 200 m3/day or more in critical and over-exploited assessment units, mandatory roof top rain water harvesting except for specified industries and measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of ground water contamination in premises of polluting industries/ projects.
  • As per the revised guidelines, exemption from requirement of NOC has been given to
    • Agricultural users, users employing non-energised means to extract water,
    • Individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe) and
    • Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment or during mobilization in forward locations.
  • Other exemptions (with certain requirements) have been granted to strategic and operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defense and Paramilitary Forces Establishments and Government water supply agencies.

Who is authorized to regulate this sector?

  • Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 has the mandate of regulating ground water development and management in the country.
  • CGWA has been regulating ground water development for its sustainable management in the country through measures such as issue of advisories, public notices, grant of No Objection Certificates (NOC) for ground water withdrawal.

To ace UPSC current affairs section, read more PIB articles here.

Also see:

Major national highways in India
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)
Water Crisis in India UPSC


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