Friday, 16th September 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Combating urban challenges: One Water Approach

●  

Global Framework for safe use of Life Sciences: WHO

●  

Poaching of Sea Turtle: Threat to Biodiversity

2   Terms & Concepts

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Sea cucumbers - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

GEF Small Grants Programme - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Naval Exercise Kakadu - Edukemy Current Affairs

●  

Localization of Sustainable Development Goals (LSDGs)

3   Editorial of the day

●  

Tax on the poor-On inflation: The Hindu

●  

India’s growing water crisis, the seen and the unseen: The Hindu

4   Case Study of the Day

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Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya: His contribution to Engineering

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Combating urban challenges: One Water Approach


In News

  • According to UN estimates, four billion people would experience severe water shortages by the year 2050, driving the One Water strategy towards all water sources.

About One Water Approach

  • One water approach acknowledges that all water has value, regardless of its source and is also known as integrated water resources management (IWRM).
  • It involves managing that source in an integrated, inclusive, and sustainable way while including the community, corporate leaders, industries, farmers, environmentalists, policymakers, academics, and others for ecological and financial gains.

  • The method is one of "integrated planning and implementation to manage constrained water resources for long-term resilience and reliability fulfilling both community and ecosystem needs.
  • When the barriers that have traditionally been used to separate wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, groundwater, and reuse and re-utilisation, they will be removed, bringing about many benefits. This is the future of the water industry.

Objectives:

  • Reliable, secure, clean water supplies 
  • Aquifer recharge
  • Flood protection 
  • Minimising environmental pollution 
  • Efficient use and reuse of natural resources
  • Resiliency to climate 
  • Long-term sustainability
  • Equity, affordability and accessibility to safe drinking water
  • Economic growth and prosperity

Characteristics:

  • All Water has Value: The mindset that all water has value — from the water resources in our ecosystems to our drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.
  • A Multi-faceted Approach: Our water-related investments should provide economic, environmental, and societal returns.
  • Utilising Watershed-Scale Thinking and Action: It should respect and respond to the natural ecosystem, geology, and hydrology of an area.
  • Partnerships and Inclusion: Real progress and achievements will only be made when all stakeholders come forward and together will take a decision.

Need:

  • There are significant issues due to regional variations in water availability, cost, and affordability as well as seasonal and inter-annual variations in supply, water quality, and quantity.
  • The need for innovative water strategies is also pushed by outdated infrastructure, supply-centric management, polluted waterbodies, agricultural and industrial expansion in response to changes in consumption and production patterns, a changing climate, and unequal distribution of water.
  • At the international level, 48 countries will experience severe water shortages by 2025, up from the current 31 countries.
  • A barrier still exists in recognizing, quantifying, and articulating the value of water and incorporating that value into decision-making, aside from the scarcity of water.

How is IWRM superior to the Conventional Water Management Approach?

  • In the conventional water management approach, drinking water, wastewater and stormwater are managed separately, whereas in ‘One Water’, All the water systems, regardless of its source, are connected intentionally and managed meticulously for water, energy and resource.
  • Water is recycled and reused several times in IWRM, in contrast to a one-way route from supply to use, treatment and disposal.
  • Stormwater is utilised as a valuable resource to fight against water scarcity, recharge groundwater and support natural vegetation.
  • The water system includes green infrastructures and a mix of grey and green infrastructure that form a hybrid system as compared to grey infrastructure in conventional water management.
  • The interconnectedness of surface water, groundwater, stormwater and wastewater is collectively recognised and managed by these separate but connected entities.
  • Active collaborations with industry, agencies, policymakers, business leaders and various stakeholders is a regular practice in the ‘One Water’ approach, whereas collaboration is need-based in conventional water management systems.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/water/a-one-water-approach-is-key-to-combat-urban-challenges-manage-resources-84908

Image Source Link:

  • https://schuylkillwaters.org/sites/default/files/One%20Water%20Approach%20&%20Integrated%20Management%20-%20Dr.%20Harry%20Zhang,%20WRF.pdf 

 

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Keywords: GS-I & II, Geographical features & Their Location, Disaster Management
News Snapshot

Global Framework for safe use of Life Sciences: WHO


In News:

WHO has released a global safety framework for the use of life sciences

About the News:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently unveiled the first dedicated global framework for ethical life science usage.
  • Life science studies life in all its forms, past and present ranging from plants, animals, viruses and bacteria, single-celled organisms to even cells.
  • At present, with an estimated 8.7 million species of animals, about 400,000 species of plants, and countless species of bacteria and viruses, there are more than thirty different branches of life sciences.
  • The framework has come up against the backdrop of the potential of research tools such as gene editing which has a clear benefit but could be misused to harm humans, other animals, agriculture and the environment.
  • In this respect, the draft Framework targets a wide range of multidisciplinary audiences at individual, institutional, national, regional and international levels with an aim to mitigate bio risks and govern dual-use research.

Major highlights of the framework:

  • About: WHO has provided a set of framework and recommendations to provide member States and other key stakeholders guidance on values, principles, tools and mechanisms to prevent and mitigate bio risks while harnessing the power of life sciences for global health and society.
  • Objective: Mitigating bio risks and governing dual-use research to address the risks caused by accidents, inadvertent applications and deliberate misapplications with the intention to cause harm to humans, nonhuman animals and the environment.
  • Collective responsibility: It outlines the need for anticipatory and responsive governance mechanisms, including foresight approaches, which are participatory and multi-disciplinary ways of exploring trends, emerging changes, systemic impacts and alternative futures.
  • Information dissemination: To help manage risks, it covers issues such as preventing misinformation and disinformation, as well as managing large health data sets.
  • Biorisk management: The framework is intended as the go-to starting point for the development and strengthening of biorisk management, which relies on three core pillars: biosafety, laboratory biosecurity and the oversight of dual-use research.
  • Need: Research and application of the life sciences offer both opportunities and risks to health, safety and security thus, there is a need to ensure that the scientific community adhere to high scientific, safety, security and ethical standards.
  • Importance: Research and applications in the life sciences and converging technologies contribute to a better understanding of diseases, and to the development of new drugs, vaccines, innovative treatments and medical devices.

Major Recommendations:

  • Ensuring responsibility: The World Health Organization will endorse and actively promote the values and principles presented in this document.
  • Awareness: Major organisations including WHO and United Nations agencies to raise awareness about the importance of biorisk management.

  • Facilitation: Important global institutions to support progress in the development of governance tools and mechanisms for basic and applied life sciences.
  • Accountability: The Member States should establish tools and mechanisms for governance of basic and applied life sciences by introducing and enforcing comprehensive biorisk management policies, including laws, regulations, standards, guidelines, best practices, codes of ethics, research review processes, education and training.
  • Engagement: Academic institutions should educate students and trainees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics about biorisk management.
  • Creating ecosystem: Research institutions, funders and other stakeholders should promote a culture of biosafety and biosecurity in research environments at every stage of basic and applied life sciences.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/business-tech/who-comes-out-with-global-framework-for-safe-use-of-lifesciences/article65887128.ece#:~:text=In%20a%20first%20of%20sorts,the%20responsible%20use%20of%20lifesciences
  • https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/research-for-health/who-global-guidance-framework-on-responsible-use-of-life-sciences-draft_call-for-comments.pdf?sfvrsn=1597c5bb_5
  • https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-SCI-RFH-2022.01

 

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Keywords: General Studies
News Snapshot

Poaching of Sea Turtle: Threat to Biodiversity


In news

A recent study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, highlights that more than 1.1 million sea turtles have been illegally killed and in some cases trafficked from 1990 to 2020.

Findings in the study

  • The Sea Turtles faced exploitation in 65 countries/territories and 44 out of the 58 marine turtle regional management units (RMU) in the world despite laws protecting the creatures.
  • The species that faced the most exploitation in the 30-year-period were green (56 per cent) and hawksbill sea turtles (39 per cent).
  • Southeast Asia and Madagascar were major hotspots for illegal sea turtle trade, particularly for the critically endangered hawksbills, as these are prized in the illicit wildlife trade for their beautiful shells.
  • Vietnam was the most common country of origin for illegal sea turtle trafficking, while China and Japan served as destinations for nearly all trafficked sea turtle products.
  • However, the silver lining is that there was a 28 per cent decrease in the reported exploitation of marine turtles from the 2000s to the 2010s.
    • This could be due to increased protective legislation and enhanced conservation efforts, coupled with an increase in awareness of the problem or changing local norms and traditions.

 About Sea Turtle

  • For more than 100 million years sea turtles have covered vast distances across the world's oceans, filling a vital role in the balance of marine habitats.

  • While these highly migratory species periodically come ashore to either bask or nest, sea turtles spend the bulk of their lives in the ocean.
  • The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified five major hazards to sea turtles:
    • Fisheries: Sea turtles are affected by fisheries, as they get caught in longlines, gill nets, and trawls. The most severe of these impacts are death after entanglement, habitat destruction and food web changes.
    • Direct Take: Sea turtles and their eggs are killed by people throughout the world for food, and for products including oil, leather and shell.
    • Coastal Development: This includes both shoreline and seafloor alterations, such as nesting beach degradation, seafloor dredging, vessel traffic, construction, and alteration of vegetation.
    • Pollution: Plastics, discarded fishing gear, petroleum by-products, and other debris harm and kill sea turtles through ingestion and entanglement.
    • Climate change: Climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather events, results in the loss of nesting beaches and causes other alterations to critical sea turtle habitats and basic oceanographic processes. Also, it impacts the natural sex ratios of hatchlings and increases the likelihood of disease outbreaks for sea turtles.
  • Nearly all species of sea turtles are now classified as endangered, with three of the seven existing species being critically endangered.

Sea turtles in India

  • India has a coastline of more than 8000 km and provides foraging and nesting sites for Sea Turtles.
  • Except for Loggerhead turtles, the remaining four species (Leatherback, Hawksbill, Green and Olive ridley turtles) nest along the Indian coastline and islands of India.
  • Also, Three arribada beaches in Odisha - Gahirmatha, Devi River mouth and Rushikulya, make up for an estimated 100,000+ nesting olive ridley turtles per year.
  • Conservation efforts in India include:
    • These five species of sea turtles that occur in Indian coastal waters are protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
    • The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released the ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’, with a vision to create a viable and healthy marine ecosystem for marine turtles and associated species through a coordinated and participatory mechanism to ensure the long-term survival of marine turtles.

Source:

  • Sea Turtle
  • Over 1.1 million sea turtles poached in the last 30 years: Study

Image source:

  • dhttps://www.atlantis-bali-diving.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Sea-Turtles.png

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation: Sea Turtle, Poaching, threat
Terms & Concepts

Sea cucumbers - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: A new analysis by the Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS-India) has shown that sea cucumbers were the most frequently trafficked marine species in India between 2015 and 2021.
  • Tamil Nadu recorded the highest number of marine wildlife seizures during this period followed by Maharashtra, Lakshadweep and Karnataka.

  • Sea cucumbers are echinoderms(worm-like sea creatures) that are single-branched (invertebrates) with tubular bodies resembling a cucumber found on the sea floor
  • As they feed on the detritus in sediment, they help to recycle nutrients and excrete nitrogenammonia, and calcium carbonate, key ingredients for coral reefs. Their feeding also helps to slow the oceans’ acidificationfrom human activity.
  • They are an unusual class of animals but play a vital role in ocean ecosystems
  • They are high in demand across Southeast Asia, especially in China, for food and traditional medicine. 
  • They are Protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, and are listed as Endangered species in IUCN Red List.  
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) imposed a total ban on harvesting and transporting sea cucumbers in 2001.

Source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/sea-cucumbers-most-frequently-trafficked-marine-species-in-india-between-2015-and-2021-analysis-8

Image source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/sea-cucumbers-most-frequently-trafficked-marine-species-in-india-between-2015-and-2021-analysis-8

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Environment and Ecology: Conservation of Endangered Species, Sea Cucumber
Terms & Concepts

GEF Small Grants Programme - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: MoEFCC, UNDP & TERI have come together to launch GEF Small Grants Programme.
  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme provides financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing the lives of local communities.
  • The programme was launched in 1992, supporting 136 countries since its inception and embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally acting locally".

  • GEF provides support to the local civil society (through NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop and implement innovative local actions that address global environmental issues, improve livelihoods and reduce poverty. 
  • SGF grants fund up to $50,000, with an average grant of $25,000.
  • This year marks the seventh operational phase, and under GEF-7 finance, SGP focuses on promoting strategic and results-based investments at the local level.
  • SGP has prioritized the following strategic initiatives, at the community level:
    1. Sustainable Agriculture and Fisheries
    2. Low-Carbon Energy Access Benefits
    3. Community-based Threatened Ecosystems and Species Conservation: Land and Water;
    4. Local to Global Coalitions in Chemicals and Waste Management; and
    5. Catalyzing Sustainable Urban Development.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-social/moefcc-undp-teri-come-together-to-launch-gef-small-grants-programme/article65886938.ece

Image source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-social/moefcc-undp-teri-come-together-to-launch-gef-small-grants-programme/article65886938.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Environment and Ecology, GEF Small Grants Programme, Environmental Conservation.
Terms & Concepts

Naval Exercise Kakadu - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: INS Satpura and a P8 I Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Indian Navy have reached Darwin in Australia for participation in the multinational Exercise Kakadu – 2022, hosted by the Royal Australian Navy.
  • Exercise Kakadu is a joint-enabled,biennial exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force.

  • Kakadu is the Navy’s premier maritime exercise, developing interoperability between nations in the maritime and air domains, and providing training opportunities for maritime security and surveillance started in 1993.
  • Exercise Kakadu -22 is a two-week-long exercise, both in harbour and sea, involving ships and maritime aircraft from 14 navies.
  • Around 19 vessels, 34 aircraft and more than 3000 personnel from 25 countries would participate in the exercise and the theme of the 2022 exercise is “Partnership, Leadership, Friendship.”
  • The exercise provides an opportunity for regional partners to undertake multinational maritime activitiesranging from constabulary operations to high-end maritime warfare in a combined environment.
  • Other exercises with Australia include Malabar and Exercise Pitch Black 22 (multilateral exercises) and Ausindex (bilateral exercise).

Source:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?

Image source:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Security: Maritime exercise, Naval Exercise.
Terms & Concepts

Localization of Sustainable Development Goals (LSDGs)


  • Context: The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has recently signed an MoU with the Institute of Rural Management Anand, Gujarat to collaborate in Gram Panchayat Development Planning (GPDP) for Localization of (SDGs) through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
  • The objective of the GPDP process is to fulfil the Constitutional mandate of Gram Panchayatse., to achieve economic development and secure social justice at the grassroots level.

  • This has also been necessitated in the context of the larger devolution of funds under the Finance Commission to Gram Panchayats.
  • For the attainment of SDGs in rural areas, PRIs need to identify with themes of localization of SDGs.
  • SDGs Localisation is translating the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development into local actions and impacts that contribute to the global achievement of SDGs.
  • Localisation also relates both to how local and sub-national governments can support the achievement of the SDGs through bottom-up action.
  • LSDG becomes significant for India as about 65% of India’s population lives in rural areas.

Source:

  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1859298

Image source:

  • https://www.researchgate.net/figure/How-India-is-delivering-on-the-SDGs_fig2_341150674

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Localisation of SDGs
Editorial of the day

Tax on the poor-On inflation: The Hindu


Essence - The article highlights the recent trend in inflation and its impacts on the economically weaker section of society. It highlights that the CPI (Consumer Price Index) rose mainly owing to inflation in food items. While the finance ministry terms this as transient, the steps taken by the government will have no real impact in the next few days.

The article calls for the policymakers to tackle the situation and keep inflation in essential commodities under check. This is essential as the poor have no hedge funds against inflation. The present inflation has resulted in an uptick in the prices of vegetables, dairy products, cereals and cooking oil. The situation can lead to lower consumption in households and can reduce the overall consumption in the economy, which in turn can slow down the economy.

Why should you read this editorial?

The article is a good read to understand the trend of inflation in the economy and its impact on society.

The article subtly outlines the steps needed to tackle the economic situation.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/tax-on-the-poor-the-hindu-editorial-on-inflation-affecting-weaker-sections-more/article65890376.ece/amp/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, INFLATION, Society
Editorial of the day

India’s growing water crisis, the seen and the unseen: The Hindu


Essence – The editorial discusses the glaring global water crisis in light of the recently released UN World Water Development Report of 2022. It has cited the Water Scarcity Clock and Global Drought Risk and Water Stress map (2019) to highlight the rising trend of the global water crisis and the extent of the water crisis in India respectively. It also mentions that at least 600 million are facing an acute water crisis in India as per NITI Ayog. It mentions that the water stress triggers the transfer of water from aquifers located away from the place, which might trigger the regional competition of which rural-urban water transfer is one of the cases. It also presented various UN reports to highlight this on a global scale.  

Later it presents the focused discussion in the context of India, where it mentions the rising urban population and linked that to rising competition for water between rural and urban regions as the city grows. It mentions that the point source of water moves towards the rural area and ultimately starts competition directly with irrigation. Towards the end,  it discusses the case of Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Chennai where this competition is visible. As a solution to this problem, it recommends a system perspective and catchment scale-based approach and fostering a rural-urban partnership in water management.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the water stress situation in India and the world
  • To know about the importance of rural-urban interdependence in the management of water crises.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/indias-growing-water-crisis-the-seen-and-the-unseen/article65891233.ece/amp/

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Resources
Case Study of the Day

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya: His contribution to Engineering


Background:

Every year India celebrates National Engineer’s day on September 15 to recognise and honour the achievements of the great engineer Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. Along with India, Visvesvaraya’s great works are also celebrated in Sri Lanka and Tanzania on September 15 as Engineer’s day.

About Sir M.Visvesvaraya

  • He was born on September 15, 1861, in the Muddenahalli village of Karnataka, and completed his school education in his hometown and later on went to study Bachelor of Arts (BA) at the University of Madras.
  • He then switched to a different career path and pursued a diploma in civil engineering at the College of Science in Pune.
  • Popularly known as Sir MV, he undertook several complex projects and delivered remarkable infrastructural results during his engineering career, of which the notable ones are as follows:
    • He patented and installed an irrigation system with water floodgates at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune to raise the food supply level and storage to the highest levels known as the ‘block system’ in 1903.
    • The irrigation system was later installed at Gwalior’s Tigra Dam and Mysuru’s Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) dam, the latter of which created one of the largest reservoirs in Asia at the time.
  • He was also called the “precursor of economic planning in India”.
  • His works resulted in him being awarded knight in 1915 while serving as the Diwan of Mysore, and Bharat Ratna in 1955.
  • Further, In 2018, Google launched a Doodle on his birthday to celebrate his endeavours, which led to the Tata Steel engineers inventing an armoured vehicle that was used in WWII.
  • Thus, M Visvesvaraya is known as the first engineer of India for his vital contribution to the field of engineering and education. He is considered among the greatest nation-builders who played a crucial role in constructing dams, reservoirs and hydro-power projects of modern India.
  • Eventually, Visvesvaraya passed away in 1962, but his legacy and spirit still lives on in the minds of young engineers committed to nation-building.

Quote

To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money - Sir M Visvesvaraya

Source:

  • Engineer’s Day 2022: Why do we celebrate M Visvesvaraya’s work on September 15?

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/allaboutbelgaum/status/1173227213463777281/photo/1

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant personalities: Engineer’s Day 2022, Sir M.Visvesvaraya
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