Daily Current Affairs for 08th August 2022

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Jal Jeevan Mission

GS Paper 2: Government policies and interventions
Important for
Prelims exam: Jal Jeevan mission
Mains exam: Mission’s objective and achievement

Why in news

Pimpalghar-Ranjnoli, a village situated in the industrial belt of Thane district’s Bhiwandi tehsil along the Mumbai-Nasik highway, has used funds under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to ensure that all 842 families in the village get tap water connection.

About Jal Jeevan mission

Since August 2019, Government of India in partnership with States, is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) – Har Ghar Jal to make provision of tap water supply to every rural household by 2024.


Jal Jeevan mission has been rolled out with the vision that Every rural household has drinking water supply in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis at affordable service delivery charges leading to improvement in living standards of rural communities.


Jal Jeevan Mission is to assist, empower and facilitate:
• States/UTs in planning of participatory rural water supply strategy for ensuring potable drinking water security on a long-term basis to every rural household and public institution, viz. Gram Panchayat(GP) building, School, Anganwadi centre, Health centre, wellness centres, etc.
• States/ UTs for creation of water supply infrastructure so that every rural household has Functional Tap Connection (FHTC) by 2024 and water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality is made available on a regular basis.
• States/ UTs to plan for their drinking water security
• GPs/ rural communities to plan, implement, manage, own, operate and maintain their own in-village water supply systems
• States/ UTs to develop robust institutions having focus on service delivery and financial sustainability of the sector by promoting utility approach
• Capacity building of the stakeholders and create awareness in community on significance of water for improvement in quality of life
• In making provision and mobilization of financial assistance to States/ UTs for implementation of the mission.


The broad objectives of the Mission are:
• To provide FHTC to every rural household.
• To prioritise provision of FHTCs in quality affected areas, villages in drought prone and desert areas, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages, etc.
• To provide functional tap connection to Schools, Anganwadi centres, GP buildings, Health centres, wellness centres and community buildings
• To monitor functionality of tap connections.
• To promote and ensure voluntary ownership among local community by way of contribution in cash, kind and/ or labour and voluntary labour (shramdaan)
• To assist in ensuring sustainability of water supply system, i.e. water source, water supply infrastructure, and funds for regular O&M
• To empower and develop human resources in the sector such that the demands of construction, plumbing, electrical, water quality management, water treatment, catchment protection, O&M, etc. are taken care of in the short and long term.
• To bring awareness on various aspects and significance of safe drinking water and involvement of stakeholders in a manner that makes water everyone’s business.

Components under JJM

The following components are supported under JJM
• Efforts should be made to source funds from different sources/ programmes and convergence is the key;
• Development of in-village piped water supply infrastructure to provide tap water connection to every rural household;
• Development of reliable drinking water sources and/ or augmentation of existing sources to provide long-term sustainability of water supply system;
• Wherever necessary, bulk water transfer, treatment plants and distribution network to cater to every rural household;
• Technological interventions for removal of contaminants where water quality is an issue;
• Retrofitting of completed and ongoing schemes to provide FHTCs at minimum service level of 55 lpcd;
• Greywater management;
• Support activities, i.e. IEC, HRD, training, development of utilities, water quality laboratories, water quality testing & surveillance, R&D, knowledge centre, capacity building of communities, etc;
• Any other unforeseen challenges/ issues emerging due to natural disasters/ calamities which affect the goal of FHTC to every household by 2024, as per guidelines of the Ministry of Finance on Flexi Funds.

Achievement of the Mission

• At the time of announcement of Jal Jeevan Mission, 3.23 Crore rural households were reported to have tap water connections. So far, 6.69 Crore households have been provided with tap water connections in the last 35 months.
• Thus, as on 1st August 2022, out of 19.11 Crore rural households in the country, around 9.92 Crore (51.93%) households are reported to have tap water supply in their homes and the remaining 9.19 Crore rural households are planned to be covered by 2024.

The office of Vice President

GS Paper 2: Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.
Important For
Prelims exam: Vice President and the related provisions
Why in News
Jagdeep Dhankhar has been elected as 14th vice president of India.

Vice President of India

• Art 63: There shall be a Vice-President of India.
• Art 65: The Vice-President acts as the President or discharges his functions during casual vacancies in the office, or during the absence of President.
• The VP is the deputy to the head of state of the Republic of India, the President of India.
• His/her office is the second-highest constitutional office after the president and ranks second in the order of precedence and first in the line of succession to the presidency.

Vice President as Ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha

• The Vice-President shall be ex-officio Chairman of the Council of the States.
• Election of Vice-President
• Art 66 of the Constitution talks about the election of the Vice-President
• The Vice-President shall be elected by:
o The members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.
• The Vice-President shall not be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State, and if a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any State be elected Vice-President, he shall be deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as Vice-President.

Eligibility criteria

• He is a citizen of India;
• He has completed the age of thirty-five years; and
• He is qualified for election as a member of the Council of States.
• The person shall not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.
Term of office of Vice-President (Art 67)
• The Vice-President shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.

Vacancy in the office of the Vice President

• Resignation: A Vice-President may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office;
• Removal:
o Art 67(b): The Constitution states that the vice president can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by a majority of all the then members (Effective majority) and agreed by the Lok Sabha with a simple majority.
o No such resolution may be moved unless at least 14 days’ notice in advance has been given.
• Notably, the Constitution does not list grounds for removal.
• No Vice President has ever faced removal.
• A Vice-President shall, notwithstanding the expiration of his term, continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.

Lumpy Skin Disease(LSD)

GS Paper 2: Issues related to the development and management of the social sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
Important for
Prelims exam: Lumpy Skin Disease
Why in news
Over the last few weeks, nearly 3,000 cattle have died in Rajasthan and Gujarat due to Lumpy Skin Disease. Since 2019, several outbreaks of LSD have been reported in Asia.
About Lumpy Skin Disease
• According to a report by GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) disease is caused by a virus called the Capripoxvirus and is “an emerging threat to livestock worldwide”.
• It is genetically related to the goatpox and sheeppox virus family.
• As per the European Food Safety Authority, it is a viral disease that affects cattle. It is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks.
• LSD infects cattle and water buffalo mainly through vectors such as blood-feeding insects.
Symptoms of LSD
• Signs of infection include the appearance of circular, firm nodes on the animal’s hide or skin that look similar to lumps.
• Infected animals immediately start losing weight and may have fever and lesions in the mouth, along with a reduced milk yield.
• Other symptoms include excessive nasal and salivary secretion. Pregnant cows and buffaloes often suffer miscarriage and in some cases, diseased animals can die due to it as well.
Earlier example of such outbreak
• This is not the first time LSD has been detected in India.
• The disease has been endemic in most African countries, and since 2012 it has spread rapidly through the Middle East, Southeast Europe and West and Central Asia.
• Since 2019, several outbreaks of LSD have been reported in Asia.
o In May this year, Pakistan’s Punjab also reported the deaths of over 300 cows due to LSD.
• In September 2020, a strain of the virus was discovered in Maharashtra. Gujarat too has reported cases over the last few years sporadically, but currently, the point of concern is the number of deaths being reported, and whether vaccination catches up to the rate at which the disease is spreading.
Mortality rate
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), of which India is a member, mortality rates of 1 to 5 per cent are considered usual.
Can LSD spread to humans?
• The disease is not zoonotic, meaning it does not spread from animals to humans, and humans cannot get infected with it.
• While the virus does not spread to humans, “milk produced by an infected animal will be fit for human consumption after boiling or pasteurisation as these processes will kill the viruses, if any, in the milk”.
Prevention from LSD
• Successful control and eradication of LSD relies on “early detection, followed by a rapid and widespread vaccination campaign”, as per the WOAH. Once an animal has recovered, it is well protected and cannot be the source of infection for other animals.
• Properly sanitise cattle-sheds by eliminating vectors through application of insecticides and spraying disinfectant chemicals.
• Isolate the infected cattle immediately from the healthy stock.

Climate Change and Monsoon forecasting
GS Paper 3: Climate change, Developments in Science and Technology, Disaster Management
Important for
Mains exam: Monsoon prediction technologies and their effectiveness
Why in news
India Meteorological Department(IMD) is installing more radars and upgrading its high performance computing system as climate change has hampered the ability of forecasting agencies to accurately predict severe events.
Impact of climate change
• According to IMD, though the monsoon rainfall had not shown any significant trend in the country, the number of heavy rainfall events had increased and that of light rainfall events had decreased due to climate change.
• Climate change has increased the instability in the atmosphere, leading to an increase in convective activity, thunderstorms, lightning and heavy rainfall. The severity of cyclones in the Arabian Sea is also increasing.

o This increase in the frequency of extreme weather events is posing a challenge to forecasters. Studies show that the ability to predict heavy rainfall is hampered due to climate change.
• According to the digital data of the rainfall since 1901, Parts of north, east and northeast India show a decrease in rainfall, while some areas in the west, such as west Rajasthan, show an increase.
o Thus, there is no significant trend if we consider the country as a whole, the monsoon is random and it shows large scale variations.
• According to the government data Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Nagaland had shown significant decreasing trends in the southwest monsoon rainfall during the recent 30 ¬year period (1989¬-2018).
o The annual rainfall over these five States, along with Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, had also shown significant decreasing trends.
o Analysis of the day¬ to ¬day rainfall data since 1970, however, shows that the number of very heavy rainfall days had increased and that of light or moderate rainfall days had decreased.
o That means if it is not raining, it is not raining. If it is raining, it is raining heavily. The rainfall is more intense when there is a low pressure system.
• This phenomena is ot limited to India as this is one of the most important trends found in the tropical belt, including India.
• Studies have proved that this increase in heavy rainfall events and decrease in light precipitation are due to climate change.
• The IMD head explained that climate change has increased the surface air temperature, which in turn has increased the evaporation rate. Since warmer air holds more moisture, it leads to intense rainfall.
• A study by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, MoES says the frequency of mini-cloud bursts (five cm or more rainfall in an hour) is increasing in the Himalayas. And it can also cause damage.
How IMD dealing with the challenge
• The IMD is bolstering its observational network with the augmentation of radars, automatic weather stations and rain gauges and satellites to improve predictability.
o Radars are preferred because they have a higher resolution and can provide observations every 10 minutes.
• IMD has put up six radars in the northwest Himalayas and four more will be installed this year.
o The procurement process is on for eight radars in the northeast Himalayan region.
• There are certain gap areas in the rest of the country that will be filled up with 11 radars. The number of radars will increase from 34 at present to 67 by 2025.
• The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) also plans to upgrade its high performance computing system, from a capacity of 10 petaflops currently to 30 petaflops in the next two years, which will help assimilate more data into the model that can then be run at higher resolutions.
• At present, the IMD¬-MoES weather modelling system has a resolution of 12 kilometres. The target is to make it six kilometres. Similarly, the resolution of the regional modelling system will be improved from three kilometres to one kilometre.
o The lower the range of a weather model, the higher its resolution and the greater the precision.
Why is weather forecasting crucial?
• For ages, people have been depending on weather predictions to make informed decisions.
• With the system going through an overhaul, weather forecasting has become a key part of policy for government and nodal agencies.
Achievement of IMD in recent past
• IMD’s forecast accuracy had improved by about 30% to 40% for severe weather events such cyclones, heavy rain, thunderstorms, heat waves, cold waves and fog in the past five years due to an improvement in the observational network, modelling and computing systems.
• The number of deaths due to cyclones and heat waves had also reduced over the years because of an improvement in the early warning lead time and preparedness, planning, prevention and mitigation approaches.
• While the IMD is facing the backlash for the failure to predict the Monsoons, it won praise from across the board including the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for its accurate predictions of cyclone Amphan just a year ago.
o The accurate prediction of genesis, track, intensity, landfall point and time, as well as associated adverse weather like storm surge, rainfall wind, by IMD with a lead period of more than three days, has immensely helped in their early response and actions.
Way forward
• The future of forecasting in India is very promising, as evident from the progress in weather predictions in the last decade. After the launching of the monsoon mission in India in 2012, India has developed its own models, parametrisation schemes and data assimilation systems
• However, India needs to invest more resources in better prediction of Monsoon forecast in order to achieve reliability and sustainability.
• While India largely depends on satellite data and computer models, the UK has moved ahead with integrating supercomputers into the forecasting that collect and visualise data from satellites.
o These supercomputers can process petaflops of data in seconds, effectively speeding up the process and enhancing accuracy.

Great Barrier Reef

GS Paper 3: Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation
Important for
Prelims exam: Coral reef, Great barrier reef
Mains exam: Steps to protect Great Barrier Reef
Why in news
According to the annual long term monitoring report by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), highest levels of coral cover, within the past 36 years, has been recorded in the northern and central parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR).
What are coral reefs
• Coral reefs are the colonies of tiny living creatures that are found in oceans.
• They are the underwater structures that are formed of coral polyps that are held together by calcium carbonate.
• Coral reefs are also regarded as the tropical rainforest of the sea and occupy just 0.1% of the ocean’s surface but are home to 25% of marine species.
• They are usually found in shallow areas at a depth less than 150 feet. However, some coral reefs extend even deeper, up to about 450 feet.
• Coral polyps are the individual corals that are found on the calcium carbonate exoskeletons of their ancestors.
• Besides, coral reef systems generate $2.7 trillion in annual economic value through goods and service trade and tourism.

Corals are of two types- Hard corals and Soft corals.

• Hard corals extract calcium carbonate from seawater to build hard, white coral exoskeletons. Hard corals are in a way the engineers of reef ecosystems and measuring the extent of hard coral is a widely accepted metric for measuring the condition of coral reefs.
• Soft corals attach themselves to such skeletons and older skeletons built by their ancestors. Soft corals also add their own skeletons to the hard structure over the years. These growing multiplying structures gradually form coral reefs.

Great Barrier Reef in Australia
• Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef system stretching across 2,300 km and having nearly 3,000 individual reefs.
• It hosts 400 different types of coral, gives shelter to 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc.
• In Australia, the Barrier Reef, in pre-¬COVID times, generated $4.6 billion annually through tourism and employed over 60,000 people including divers and guides.
About AIMS’s report
• The annual long term monitoring by AIMS began 36 years ago, and reefs are surveyed through in-water and aerial techniques. The current report surveyed 87 reefs in the GBR between August 2021 and May 2022.
• The report states that reef systems are resilient and capable of recovering after disturbances such as accumulated heat stress, cyclones, predatory attacks and so on, provided the frequency of such disturbances is low.
• The new survey shows record levels of region wide coral cover in the northern and central GBR since the first ever AIMS survey was done.
o Coral cover is measured by determining the increase in the cover of hard corals. The hard coral cover in northern GBR had reached 36%.
o While that in the central region had reached 33%.
o Meanwhile, coral cover levels declined in the southern region from 38% in 2021 to 34% in 2022.
Reason of recovery
• The record levels of recovery, the report showed, were fuelled largely by increases in the fast growing Acropora corals, which are a dominant type in the GBR.
o Incidentally, these fast growing corals are also the most susceptible to environmental pressures such as rising temperatures, cyclones, pollution, crown-of-thorn starfish (COTs) attacks which prey on hard corals and so on.
• Also, behind the recent recovery in parts of the reef, are the low levels of acute stressors in the past 12 months, no tropical cyclones, lesser heat stress in 2020 and 2022 as opposed to 2016 and 2017, and a decrease in COTs outbreaks.
Does it mean GBR is out of danger?
Besides predatory attacks and tropical cyclones, scientists say that the biggest threat to the health of the reef is climate change induced heat stress, resulting in coral bleaching.
• Over the last couple of decades, climate change induced rise in temperature has made seas warmer than usual.
• Under all positive outlooks and projections in terms of cutting greenhouse gases, sea temperatures are predicted to increase by 1.5°C to 2°C by the time the century nears its end.
• According to the UN assessment in 2021, the world is going to experience heating at 1.5°C in the next decade, the temperature at which bleaching becomes more frequent and recovery less impactful.

How heat affect coral reefs
• Corals share a symbiotic relationship with single celled algae called zooxanthellae. The algae prepares food for corals through photosynthesis and also gives them their vibrant colouration.
• When exposed to conditions like heat stress, pollution, or high levels of ocean acidity, the zooxanthellae start producing reactive oxygen species not beneficial to the corals.
• So, the corals kick out the colour giving algae from their polyps, exposing their pale white exoskeleton and leading to coral starvation as corals cannot produce their own food.
• Bleached corals can survive depending on the levels of bleaching and the recovery of sea temperatures to normal levels. Severe bleaching and prolonged stress in the external environment can lead to coral death.

• The concern is that in the past decade, mass bleaching events have become more closely spaced in time.
o The first mass bleaching event occurred in 1998 when the El Niño weather pattern caused sea surfaces to heat, causing 8% of the world’s coral to die.
o The second event took place in 2002.
o But the longest and most damaging bleaching event took place from 2014 to 2017.
o Mass bleaching then occurred again in 2020, followed by earlier this year.
o According to the Australian government’s scientists, 91% of the reefs it had surveyed in March were affected by bleaching
• Notably, half of the total reefs were surveyed before the peak of this year’s mass coral bleaching event in the GBR. Since surveys to determine the effects of bleaching need to occur during or after the summer heatwave, the authors of the report say that the full impact of this year’s mass bleaching would only be known in next year’s report.
• The aerial surveys by AIMS included 47 reefs and coral bleaching was recorded on 45 of these reefs. While the levels were not high enough to cause coral death it did leave sub-¬lethal effects such as reduced growth and reproduction.
• The AIMS report says that the prognosis for the future disturbance suggests an increase in marine heatwaves that will last longer and the ongoing risk of COTs outbreaks and cyclones.
• Therefore, while the observed recovery offers good news for the overall state of the GBR, there is an increasing concern for its ability to maintain this state.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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