14 June 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Release of the Report on the Composite Water Management Index

  • In February 2018, NITI Aayog had released a report on “Healthy States, Progressive India” which covered the ranking of States/ UTs in various health parameters.  As a step further in direction and keeping in view the criticality of water for life, NITI Aayog has prepared a report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI). 
  • The Report was launched today by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.  Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Secretaries/ senior officials of Ministry of Water Resources, Drinking Water & Sanitation and Rural Development were also present at the launch event.
  • The CWMI is an important tool to assess and improve the performance of States/ Union Territories in efficient management of water resources. 
  • This has been done through a first of its kind water data collection exercise in partnership with Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation and all the States/ Union Territories.
  • A web portal on the subject has also been launched.

About Composite Water Management Index (CWMI)

  • CWMI has been developed by NITI Aayog comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects of ground water, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.
  • For the purposes of analysis, the reporting states were divided into two special groups – ‘North Eastern and Himalayan states’ and ‘Other States’, to account for the different hydrological conditions across these groups

Naval Women Mountaineers Summit Mount Deotibba

  • An all women Naval mountaineering team led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan summited Mount Deotibba on 10 Jun 2018.
  • The expedition was flagged off by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Chief Of Personnel on 28 May 18 from New Delhi laying foundation for a team, which would attempt to scale many more challenging peaks in the near future.
  • Mt Deotibba is the second highest peak (6001M) in the Pir-Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. It is considered to be a difficult peak to summit.
  • The team was led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan and includes Lt Cdr Nanadini Dam Roy, Lt Cdr Seema Chaudhary, Lt Cdr Pooja Sharma, Lt Cdr Rekha Shree, Lt Cdr Rashu Tyagi, Lt Saino Wilson, Lt Chamm Kumari, Surg Lt Himwant Kaur, Lt Surbhi Sharma, Lt Shristi Thakur, Lt Vipasha Sharma, Lt Kritika Sharma as other team members.
  • The team started the trek from the road head (Bara Hazari) to the base camp at an altitude of 4250 mtrs through Chikka and Seri. They advanced towards the Summit through advance base camp at 4700 mtrs and the Summit camp at 5250 mtrs.
  • Displaying exemplary courage and esprit de corps, the team battled extreme weather conditions including white outs and heavy snowfall accompanied by strong winds. After a strenuous push of about 12 hrs of climbing, the team summited the peak at 1300 hrs on 10 Jun 2018.

Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Peru

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an Agreement between India and Peru which was signed in May, 2018 at Lima, Peru.
  • The agreement aims to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.
  • The Agreement envisages establishing a Joint Committee to develop Work Plans in order to implement the Agreement.
  • The Agreement will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Enactment of Dam Safety Bill, 2018

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for introduction of Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the Parliament.

Benefits:

  • It will help all the States and Union Territories of India to adopt uniform dam safety procedures which shall ensure safety of dams and safeguard benefits from such dams.
  • This shall also help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property.

Details:

  • The Bill provides for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning.
  • The Bill provides for constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which shall evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required for the purpose.
  • The Bill provides for establishment of National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body which shall discharge functions to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country.
  • The Bill provides for constitution of a State Committee on Dam Safety by State Government.

State Committee on Dam Safety

  • It will ensure proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in that State and ensure their safe functioning. It further provides that every State shall establish a “State Dam Safety Organisation”, which will be manned by officers from the field dam safety preferably from the areas of dam-designs, hydro-mechanical engineering, hydrology, geo-technical investigation, instrumentation and dam-rehabilitation.

Background:

  • There are over 5200 large dams in India and about 450 are under construction. Plus there are thousands of medium and small dams. Due to lack of legal and institutional architecture for dam safety in India, dam safety is an issue of concern. Unsafe dams are a hazard and dam break may cause disasters, leading to huge loss of life and property.
  • The Dam Safety Bill, 2018 address all issues concerning dam safety including regular inspection of dams, Emergency Action Plan, comprehensive dam safety review, adequate repair and maintenance funds for dam safety, Instrumentation and Safety Manuals. It lays onus of dam safety on the dam owner and provides for penal provisions for commission and omission of certain acts.

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