GS PAPER II NEWS
Dam Safety Bill (2019)
Why in News
- Rajya Sabha passed the Dam Safety Bill (2019), paving the way for the implementation of the Dam Safety Act in the country.
About the bill
- This bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 1 December 2021. The Dam Safety Bill (2019) was passed in the Lok Sabha on 2 August 2019.
- As per the provision of the Bill, a National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) will be constituted to help develop uniform dam safety policies, protocols and procedures.
- The Bill also provides for setting up of National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) as a regulatory body to ensure nationwide implementation of dam safety policies and standards.
- At the same time, provision has been made in this bill to constitute State Committee on Dam Safety (SCDS) at the state level and to set up State Dam Safety Organization.
- The Dam Safety Bill will help to address the serious problems of dam safety on a large scale due to the challenges posed by climate change.
- The Bill provides for regular inspection and hazard classification of dams. The Bill provides for the preparation of an emergency action plan and a comprehensive review of dam safety by an independent panel of experts. The Bill provides for an emergency flood warning system to address the safety concerns of residents living in the direction of the river’s flow.
- Under this bill, the dam owners will now have to provide necessary resources for repair and maintenance of the dam on time apart from providing the necessary machinery.
- The Bill looks at dam safety in a holistic manner. The Bill not only deals with the structural aspects of dams but also works towards enhancing operational and maintenance effectiveness through strict Operation and Maintenance (O&M) protocols.
- Penal provisions have been made to ensure compliance with the provisions contained in this Bill, which include offenses and punishment thereof.
- The Bill provides for a definite time frame to establish a strong institutional framework with the cooperation of both the Center and the States.
- The Bill also focuses on the implementation of mandatory dam safety measures by the dam owners within a given time frame.
- The passage of this bill heralds a new era of dam safety and water resource management in India. The passage of this bill has ushered in a new era of dam safety and water resource management in India.
- India is the third largest country in the world, after China and the US, with the largest number of dams. There are about 5,700 big dams in our country, out of which about 80% dams are more than 25 years old. There are about 227 such dams in the country, which are more than 100 years old and are still functional.
- Although India has a track record of dam safety at par with that of developed countries, there have been instances when the country has faced problems like untimely dam failure and pathetic dam maintenance.
- The Dam Safety Bill will provide adequate facilities for monitoring, inspection, operation and maintenance of all major dams in the country, so as to prevent disasters in the event of a dam failure.
- The Bill will provide for an institutional mechanism, both at the Central and State levels, towards the necessary structural and non-structural measures to ensure the safe operation of dams.
GS PAPER II
Why in News
- The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated the Infinity Forum, a thought-leading platform on Fin-Tech, through video conferencing.
About Infinity Forum
- The event is being hosted by GIFT-City and Bloomberg under the aegis of International Financial Services Center Authority (IFSCA), Government of India.
- It is being organized on December 3 and 4, 2021. Indonesia, South Africa and the UK are the partner countries in this first event of the Forum.
- Infinity-Forum will bring together world-renowned talent in policy, business and technology to engage in in-depth discussions on how technology and innovation can be harnessed in the fin-tech industry to drive inclusive growth. Yes and serve everyone in a big way.
- The agenda of the Forum is focused on the theme ‘Beyond’. More than 70 countries are participating in this forum.
- It includes various sub-themes, such as ‘Fin-Tech Beyond Boundaries,’ under which governments and business institutions will focus beyond geographical boundaries to promote financial inclusion, so that global groups to develop; ‘Fin-Tech Beyond Finance’ (finance-technology up to top finance), to bring about convergence and sustainable development in emerging areas such as space-tech, green-tech and agri-tech; and ‘Fin-Tech Beyond Next’, which will focus on how quantum computing can be effective in driving the future fin-tech industry and driving new opportunities.
GS PAPER II
‘Puneet Sagar Campaign’
Why in News
- National Cadet Corps (NCC) is running a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the importance of keeping beaches free of plastic and other waste materials and keeping them clean.
- The purpose of this month-long campaign from December 01, 2021 is to spread the message of ‘Importance of Clean Beach’ among the local population and future generations.
- The main objective of this campaign is to clean the seaside plastic waste in the coastal areas, to create awareness and educate the target population about the conservation and impact measures of plastic pollution along the beaches and to educate the local population about the prevention of pollution. To sensitize and unite.
- A total of 3.40 lakh cadets from 127 Coastal Zone NCC units will participate in the month-long activity. NCC units at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, IIT Chennai, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Kozhikode and NIT Pondicherry have also been involved to suggest clean technologies for recycling/disposal of plastic waste to the civil administration through respective state directorates. Will be done.
GS PAPER III
Why in News
- In COP21, as part of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), India had committed to achieve 40 per cent of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources by 2030.
- The country has achieved this target only in November 2021.
- The country’s installed renewable energy (RE) capacity is 150.05 GW; while its nuclear power based installed power capacity is 6.78 GW.
This takes the total non-fossil based installed power capacity to 156.83 GW, which is 40.1% of the total installed power capacity of 390.8 GW which is in line with the announcement of Hon’ble Prime Minister in the recently concluded COP 26.
- Government is committed to achieve 500 GW of installed power capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
- In the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change (COP-21), India had committed to achieve 40 per cent of its installed electricity generation capacity from non-fossil energy sources by 2030.
- Seeing the fulfillment of this commitment, the Prime Minister, while addressing the 26th United Nations Climate Change Framework Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, set five new goals.
India’s five new targets in COP-26
- India will reach 500 GW of its non-fossil energy capacity by 2030.
- India will meet 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030.
- India will reduce the total estimated carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now to 2030.
- By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45 percent.
- India will achieve Net Zero (Net Zero Emission) target by the year 2070.
- In keeping with its commitment to save the environment, the government had decided in 2015 that 175 GW of renewable energy capacity would be installed by the year 2022. 100 GW of solar power, 60 GW of wind power, 10 GW of biomass and 5 GW of hydro power. The high capacity target of renewable energy will ensure large scale energy security, better energy availability and increased employment opportunities. With the achievement of this target, India will become the world’s largest country in green energy generation, overtaking many developing countries.
GS PAPER III
Green Highway Project
Why in News
- Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has recently said that, to compensate for the ecological loss due to felling of trees to build roads in the country, the National Highways Authority of India has spent over 2.23 crores across the country. More trees have been planted.
The Minister said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha that the total number of saplings planted by NHAI since the year 2017 is 2.23 crore and 55.1 lakh saplings have also been planted in 94 highway projects completed till March, 2021.
- To widen the existing National Highways, at least felling of trees should be done.
- All trees are cut either by the Forest Department or Forest Corporation or by the contractor after obtaining permission to cut trees from the appropriate authorities.
- To compensate for the ecological loss, plantation is being done in the middle and along the road either within the scope of the contract by the contractor or as a deposit works through the Forest Department.
Green Highway Project
- The Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy, 2015 was launched by the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari, in the year 2015 at a function held in New Delhi.
- The policy aims to promote greening of highway corridors with the participation of various communities, farmers, private sector, NGOs and government institutions.
Salient Features of Green Highway Policy, 2015
- To promote and develop eco-friendly National Highway Corridors across the country with the participation of farmers, private sector and government institutions including Forest Department.
- This policy will address the issues that block development and pave the way for sustainable development.
Objectives of Green Highway Policy
- Reducing the effects of air pollution and dust by planting trees and shrubs along national highways.
- Trees will act as a natural sink for air pollutants and also prevent soil erosion on the embankment slopes.
GS PAPER II
International monetary fund
Why in News
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath is being promoted to the organization’s first Deputy Managing Director (FDMD).
- She will replace Geoffrey Okamoto, who plans to leave the IMF early next year.
- Indian-American Geeta is the first woman to become the Chief Economist of the IMF.
- After IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, Geeta Gopinath will be number one.
- This will be the first time that women will sit in the top two positions in this international organization based in Washington.
- Geeta Gopinath will be the first Managing Director of IMF. Announcing this, the IMF has said that this appointment will be effective from January 21.
- Gita Gopinath became the Chief Economist of the IMF in the year 2018. She is originally from Kerala. His citizenship is of both America and India.
- He completed his PhD in Economics from Princeton University from 1996 to 2001.
Who is Geeta Gopinath?
- Geeta Gopinath worked as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago from 2001 to 2005. Then she became a professor at Harvard University.
- Geeta Gopinath has a very close relationship with India. She was born in India and did her Honors in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi in the year 1992.
- Has also authored about 40 research papers on trade and investment, international financial crisis, monetary policies, debt and emerging market problems.
- The Government of India had given him the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in the year 2019, which is the highest honor given to overseas Indians and Indian diaspora.
- Gita Gopinath, while being the Chief Economist of the IMF, has played an important role in broadening the role of the Research Department.
- Has also contributed significantly to the preparation of the IMF’s plan to end international capital flows and epidemics.
- Geeta was appointed as the Chief Economist of the IMF in 2018. He was also made the Financial Advisor to the Government of Kerala in the year 2017.