Objective: To integrate the efforts to clean and protect the Ganga river in a comprehensive manner.
Achievements: · Under Namami Gange program, a total of 187 projects worth Rs. 16565.34 crore have been sanctioned for various activities such as sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria development, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation, and public participation.
· Within a year of reconstitution of NMCG as an Authority (October 07, 2016 to October 07, 2017), 44 projects worth Rs 7,547.87 crore were approved by the Executive Committee. These projects pertain to creation of adequate sewage treatment capacities in Ganga basin States – Uttarakhand (17) Uttar Pradesh (10), Bihar (11) Jharkhand (1) West Bengal (3) and Delhi (2). Total STP capacity of 1402.26 MLD will be created with the approval of these projects and sewer network length of 1429.24 km will be laid down.
· For abatement of industrial pollution, survey of all 1109 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) was conducted. Out of 1109 GPIs, 333 were closed and closure notices were given to non-complying GPIs.135 GPIs have been closed for non-compliance to stipulated norms. Eight Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Station (RTWQMS) are operational under National Hydrology Project.
· Six public outreach programmes were organised in five main stem Ganga basin States. They are Ganga Swachhta Pakhwada, Ganga Sankalp Divas, Ganga Nirikshan Yatra, Ganga Dusshera, Ganga Vriksharopan Saptah, and Swachhta Hi Seva Pakhwada.
· The participation of corporates in Namami Gange programme grew stronger with successful completion of two road shows – London and Mumbai. Commitments of participation in NMCG activities have been made by several corporates.
Water Quality Monitoring: Based on water quality monitoring being carried out at 124 locations through manual as well as sensors based real time system, it has been observed that water quality trend on tributaries of Ramganga river viz., Bahela, Dahela, Kosi and Ramganga itself before its confluence with Ganga has shown improvements during the last two years.
This programme has been formulated by amalgamating ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD&GR), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources (DoLR) and the On Farm Water Management (OFWM) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC).
Objective - PMKSY was launched with an aim to enhance physical access of water on farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices
Achievements · Prioritization of 99 projects for completion by December 2019 : Under PMKSY, Ninety Nine (99) ongoing AIBP projects along with their Command Area Development & Water Management (CADWM) works, having potential of 76.03 lakh ha. and estimated cost of Rs. 77595 cr, . have been identified for completion in phases up to December, 2019. Funding mechanism through NABARD has been made by the Government for both central and state share for timely completion of 99 prioritized projects.
· A Long Term Irrigation Fund has been created under NABARD for PMKSY (AIBP) projects. The Government on 16.08.2017 approved the proposal for raising zero cost bonds up to ₹ 9,020 crore during FY 2017-18 for keeping interest rate @ 6%. During 2017-18, CA of ₹ 1,720.68 crore has been sanctioned for release through NABARD f or AIBP & Command Area Development works. Further, State share of ₹ 3,390.37 crore for prioritised projects has been released through NABARD. In addition, an amount of ₹ 1,297.58 crore has been sanctioned for release through NABARD for Polavaram Project of Andhra Pradesh during the year.
Delineation and characterization of aquifers for quantification of ground water availability and assessment of ground water quality to formulate aquifer management plans for facilitating sustainable management of ground water resources at regional and local levels.
Achievements: Under the program, 7.99 Lakh km2 area has been covered so far against total target of about 13 lakh SQ Km till March, 2020. Aquifer maps and management plans being prepared by CGWB are shared with the State Agencies for implementation. Implementation of the management plans by the State agencies is expected to improve the groundwater situation.
Work done under National Aquifer Mapping Program has been utilized for following successful activities which will reduce dependence on monsoon:
§ Project on Tapi Mega Recharge has been initiated as an outcome of Aquifer mapping study. This project envisages to recharge ground water to the tune of 358.92 million m3/ year benefiting an area of 2.3 lakh hectare.
§ Multi layered aquifers identified in intensely irrigated water stressed areas of Haryana.
§ Managed Aquifer Recharge plans for Chhatarpur Basin in Delhi has been prepared.
§ Govt of Kerala has initiated preparation of Panchayat Water Security Plans from NAQUIM outputs.
§ Successful wells (18 nos) were drilled in water scarce villages in Tikamgarh district of Bundelkhand region for State PHED.
§ In Latur, Maharastra, 25 wells drilled for drought mitigation in Year 2016 and handed over to state agency for water supply
To improve the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource assessment/planning and to strengthen the capacity of targeted water resources professionals and management institutions in India. Under National Hydrology Project, it proposed to establish National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) as a repository of nation-wide water resource data. This data will be utilised for various applications such as development of decision support system, integrated reservoir operation, flood forecasting including inundation forecasting, Basin Modelling and development of Water Resources Management plans with aims to achieve the objective of Ensuring Water Security and disaster management.
National Hydrology Project (NHP) has been taken up with the assistance of World Bank with total outlay of Rs.3679.7674 crore. NHP is a Central Sector Scheme, with 100% grant to the States with World Bank Assistance to the tune of 50% of the project cost. It has pan India coverage with 49 Implementing Agencies (IAs) (including 10 from Central Government and 39 from States). The project has a total duration of eight years from 2016-17 to 2023-24.
Status of Interlinking of Rivers In compliance to the direction of Union Cabinet, MoWR, RD & GR vide O.M. dated 13th April, 2015 has constituted a Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers (TF-ILR) under the Chairmanship of Shri B.N. Navalawala, Chief Advisor, MoWR, RD&GR. So far, eight (8) meetings of the TF-ILR has been held and the last meeting was held on 15.09.2017. TF-ILR on 18.07.2016 has constituted a Group to look into legal aspects and required enabling provisions for implementation of Interlinking of Rivers and other related issues. The legal group has completed its assigned task and submitted its report to the Chairman, TF-ILR on 17th March 2017. In addition, a Group for Financial Aspects under TF-ILR was also constituted on 12.09.2017 to consider the financial aspects of ILR projects and to suggest the funding pattern for implementing the same. Three meetings of the Group were held so far and the last meeting was held on 08.12.2017.
Four priority links under Peninsular Rivers Component have been identified for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) viz; Ken-Betwa link project (KBLP), Damanganga-Pinjal link project, Par-Tapi-Narmada link project and Mahanadi-Godavari link project. The preparation of DPR of a project is taken up only after consent of concerned State Governments. Based on the concurrence of the concerned States, DPRs of KBLP, Damanganga-Pinjal link project and Par-Tapi-Narmada link project have been completed.
PROJECTS COMPLETED BY WAPCOS Afghan-India Friendship Dam Project, Herat Province, Afghanistan Development of Six Irrigation Schemes in Champassack Province, Lao PDR.
· Project Management for Augmentation of Water Supply Scheme in Dar-Es-Salaam and Chalinze, Tanzania, Stung Tasal Dam Project, Cambodia.
· Preparation of Feasibility Report and Detailed Project Report on Sewerage and Sewage Treatment for Bhopal City.
· Project Management Consultancy for Madhya Pradesh Urban Development Project, Bhopal (World Bank Funded).
· Project Development and Management Consultant (PDMC) for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation including Project Management of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
This project was approved by the MoWR, RD & GR in March 2017 for a value of Rs 237 crores. Out of the total amount, funding of Rs 207 crores has been provided by DONER. Brahmaputra Board has awarded the work which is presently in progress. Successful conclusion of this project will provide succour to Majuli, which is the largest river island in the world, from flood and erosion.
MAJOR ACTIVITIES BY PENINSULAR RIVER WING. In the year 2017 Dam Break Analysis were conducted on 64 Dams for preparation of Inundation maps. Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) prepared by State IAs have been reviewed and commented upon by CPMU
One Dam Safety Conference was organized in Roorkee in which 466 delegates (with 30 International) participated. 35 Indian and Foreign organizations showcased their products, technology and services in the exhibition.
DHARMA, web based dam inventory management software has been completed. Efforts are being made to capture the dam related data on this platform.
Reform family law: As general suggestions to reforming family law, the paper discusses the introduction of new grounds for ‘no fault’ divorce accompanied by corresponding changes to provisions on alimony and maintenance, rights of differently-abled individuals within marriage, the thirty-day period for registration of marriages under Special Marriage Act; uncertainty and inequality in age of consent for marriage, compulsory registration of marriage, bigamy upon conversion etc.
Under Hindu law the paper among other issues discusses problems with provisions like restitution of conjugal rights, and further suggests the inclusion of concepts such as ‘community of property’ of a married couple, abolition of coparcenary, rights of illegitimate children et al. There are further suggestions for addressing self-acquired property of a Hindu female.
Under Muslim law the paper discusses the reform in inheritance law through codification of Muslim law on inheritance, but ensuring that the codified law is gender just. The paper also discusses the rights of a widow, and the changes application to general laws such as introduction of community of (self-acquired) property after marriage, inclusion of irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce.
Under Parsi law there are suggestions relating to protecting married women’s right to inherit property even if they marry outside their community.
Adoption process: The paper also suggests the expansion of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015, to make it into a robust secular law that can be accessed by individuals of all communities for adoption. There are suggestions for amending the guidelines for adoption and also a suggestion to alter the language of the Act to accommodate all gender identities. The paper discusses lacunae within custody and guardianship laws, statutory or customary, and suggests that the ‘best interest of the child’ has to remain the paramount consideration in deciding matters of custody regardless of any prevailing personal law in place.
Special attention to North- East: Although the sixth schedule provides exemptions and exemptions to states in the North East and tribal areas, it has suggested that efforts of women’s organisations in these areas be acknowledged and relied upon in this regard to suggest ways in which family law reform could be aided by the state even when direct intervention may not be possible. Since a number of these issues such as polygamy, nikah halala, settlement of a Parsi wife’s property for benefit of children, as well as the law on adultery among others is presently sub judice before the Supreme Court, they have been discussed in the paper.
The Law Commission feels that a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage.”
Why is UCC is not desirable at this point? Secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country. Besides, cultural diversity cannot be compromised to the extent that our urge for uniformity itself becomes a reason for threat to the territorial integrity of the nation.
The term ‘secularism’ has meaning only if it assures the expression of any form of difference. This diversity, both religious and regional, should not get subsumed under the louder voice of the majority. At the same time, discriminatory practices within a religion should not hide behind the cloak of that faith to gain legitimacy.
What is needed now? The way forward may not be UCC, but the codification of all personal laws so that prejudices and stereotypes in every one of them would come to light and can be tested on the anvil of fundamental rights of the Constitution. By codification of different personal laws, one can arrive at certain universal principles that prioritise equity rather than imposition of a Uniform Code, which would discourage many from using the law altogether, given that matters of marriage and divorce can also be settled extra-judicially.
Way ahead: Difference does not always imply discrimination in a robust democracy. A unified nation does not necessarily need to have “uniformity.” Efforts have to be made to reconcile our diversity with universal and indisputable arguments on human rights.
What is uniform civil code? Uniform civil Code is a proposal to have a generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.
What the constitution says? Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.
Department of Official Language: With a view to ensuring compliance of the constitutional and legal provisions regarding official language and to promote the use of Hindi for the official purposes of the Union, the Department of Official Language was set up in June 1975 as an independent Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Since then, this Department has been making efforts for accelerating the progressive use of Hindi for the official purposes of the Union.
In accordance with the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, this Department has been entrusted with the following items of work: Implementing the provisions of the Constitution relating to the Official Language and the provisions of the Official Languages Act, 1963 (19 of 1963), except to the extent such implementation has been assigned to any other Department. Prior approval of the President for authorising the limited use of a language, other than English, in the proceedings in the High Court of a State.
Nodal responsibility for all matters relating to the progressive use of Hindi as the Official Language of the Union including Hindi Teaching Scheme for Central Government Employees and publication of magazines, journals & other literature related thereto. Co-ordination in all matters relating to the progressive use of Hindi as the Official Language of the Union, including administrative terminology, syllabi, textbooks, training courses and equipment (with standardised script) required therefor.
Constitutional provisions: Part 17 of the constitution of India (Articles 343 to Article 351) makes elaborate provisions dealing with the official language of the Republic of India. The main provisions dealing with the official language of the Union are embodied in Articles 343 and 344 of the Constitution of India. The Official languages have been listed in the 8th schedule of Constitution of India.
Official language of union: Hindi written in Devanagari script is the Official Language of the Union. The original constitution provided that for a period of 15 years from the commencement of the constitution, English will continue to be used for all official purposes of the Union.
The constitution made it clear that President may, during the said period, by order authorize the use of the Hindi language in addition to the English language and of the Devanagari form of numerals in addition to the international form of Indian numerals for any of the official purposes of the Union.
The constitution also makes it clear that even after 15 years, the Parliament by law may provide for the continued use of English for any specific purpose. The constitution has put all authority in the hands of the central government both for formulating and implementing the language policy. It is also special responsibility of the centre to develop and spread the official language (Hindi) of the union (art. 351).
The department has developed a computer software called “Kanthasth” for translating the all kinds of official files from English to Hindi and vice versa to make the translation work simpler and quicker.
An E-learning platform called the “Pravah” also being developed by the department for use in 16 Indian languages including English. Anybody can learn Hindi through his mother tongue with the help of this E-learning platform.
THEME OF BIMSTEC SUMMIT 2018: The theme of the fourth BIMSTEC summit is ‘Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region’.
Kathmandu Declaration: The Fourth BIMSTEC Summit concluded with an 18-point Kathmandu Declaration. The declaration is expected to enhance the effectiveness of BIMSTEC Secretariat by engaging it in various technical and economic activities in the region.
Key highlights: The Kathmandu Declaration has underlined the importance of multidimensional connectivity as a key enabler to economic integration for shared prosperity of the region. The declaration also highlighted the importance of trade and investment as one of the major contributing factors for fostering economic and social development in the region.
The declaration said the “fight against terrorism should target not only terrorists, terror organisations and networks but also identify and hold accountable States and non-State entities that encourage, support or finance terrorism, provide sanctuaries to terrorists and terror groups and falsely extol their virtues.”
It asked all nations to devise a comprehensive approach which should include preventing financing of terrorists and terrorist actions from territories under their control, blocking recruitment and cross-border movement of terrorists, countering radicalisation, countering misuse of internet for purposes of terrorism and dismantling terrorist safe havens.
It said that combating terrorism and transnational organised crimes require sustained efforts and cooperation and comprehensive approach involving active participation and collaboration of the Member States.
The declaration also recognised that eradication of poverty is the greatest regional challenge in realising development objectives and expressed firm commitment to work together for implementing the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
WHAT IS BIMSTEC SUMMIT? The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising of seven member states in South Asia and Southeast Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
WHEN WAS BIMSTEC ESTABLISHED? This sub-regional organisation came into being on June 6, 1997, through the Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Composition: It comprises of seven member countries: five deriving from South Asia — including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka — and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.
AMENDMENTS IN THE BIMSTEC ORGANISATION: Initially, the economic bloc was formed with four Member States with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Following the inclusion of Myanmar during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on December 22, 1997, the group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan at the 6th Ministerial Meeting in February 2004, the name of the grouping was changed to ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC).
Objectives of BIMSTEC: BIMSTEC is a sector-driven cooperative organization. Technological and economic cooperation among South Asian and Southeast Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal is its main objective. Starting with six sectors-including trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries-for sectoral cooperation in late 1997, it expanded to embrace nine more sectors-including agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change-in 2008.
What is IPPB? The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is a public sector company under the department of posts and ministry of communication with a 100 per cent equity of the government of India, and governed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Key facts: It started operations on 30 January, 2017, by opening two pilot branches, one at Raipur and the other at Ranchi. India Post Payments Bank will offer 4 per cent interest rate on savings accounts. India Post Payments Bank will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments. India Post Payments Bank has been allowed to link around 17 crore postal savings bank (PSB) accounts with its accounts.
What are payment banks? Payment banks are non-full service banks, whose main objective is to accelerate financial inclusion. These banks have to use the word ‘Payment Bank’ in its name which will differentiate it from other banks.
Key facts: Capital requirement: The minimum paid-up equity capital for payments banks is Rs. 100 crore. Leverage ratio: The payments bank should have a leverage ratio of not less than 3%, i.e., its outside liabilities should not exceed 33.33 times its net worth (paid-up capital and reserves).
Promoter’s contribution: The promoter’s minimum initial contribution to the paid-up equity capital of such payments bank shall at least be 40% for the first five years from the commencement of its business.
Foreign shareholding: The foreign shareholding in the payments bank would be as per the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for private sector banks as amended from time to time.
SLR: Apart from amounts maintained as Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) with the Reserve Bank on its outside demand and time liabilities, it will be required to invest minimum 75% of its “demand deposit balances” in Statutory Liquidity Ratio(SLR) eligible Government securities/treasury bills with maturity up to one year and hold maximum 25% in current and time/fixed deposits with other scheduled commercial banks for operational purposes and liquidity management.
What are the scopes of activities of Payment Banks? Payments banks will mainly deal in remittance services and accept deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh. They will not lend to customers and will have to deploy their funds in government papers and bank deposits. The promoter’s minimum initial contribution to equity capital will have to be at least 40% for the first five years. They can accept demand deposits.
Payments bank will initially be restricted to holding a maximum balance of Rs. 100,000 per individual customer. They can issue ATM/debit cards but not credit cards. They can carry out payments and remittance services through various channels. Distribution of non-risk sharing simple financial products like mutual fund units and insurance products, etc. is allowed.
Benefits of new designs: The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts with high carrying capacity and at the same time, environment friendly. For the shipbuilding industry, the new designs will translate into a savings of Rs 30-50 lakhs in the building of a vessel. The designs will remove ambiguity on the class and type of vessels that can sail on river Ganga with efficient manoeuvrability. They will help shipyards build vessels of standardised dimensions and capacity and make them available off the shelf besides developing the ‘sale and purchase’ market for inland vessels. The designs will lead to reduced fuel costs and in turn lesser logistics costs.
These vessels will sail even in depths of about two metres carrying about 350 cars on a five deck car carrier. Some of the designs would enable movement of bulk cargo carriers with capacity of 2500 tonnes at three metres depth, thereby, removing almost 150 truckloads of pressure from the road or one full rail rake with the plying of just one such vessel. The new designs will obviate the dependence of Indian Ship builders on foreign ship designs for IWT and prove to be a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.
Way ahead: This marks attaining of a critical milestone in the growth of the country’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector as it will help overcome the unique navigation challenges river Ganga throws due to its complex river morphology, hydraulics, acute bends, shifting channels, meanders and current. It will serve as an enabler for domestic shipbuilding industry working on inland vessels and open huge possibilities for cargo and passenger movement on National Waterway-1.
About Jal Marg Vikas Project: What is it? The Jal Marg Vikas Project seeks to facilitate plying of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 tonnes in the Haldia- Varanasi stretch of the River Ganga. The major works being taken up under JMVP are development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.
Implementation: The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March, 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500-2,000 tons on NW-I.
Benefits of this project: Alternative mode of transport that will be environment friendly and cost effective. The project will contribute in bringing down the logistics cost in the country. Mammoth Infrastructure development like multi-modal and inter-modal terminals, Roll on – Roll off (Ro-Ro) facilities, ferry services, navigation aids. Socio-economic impetus; huge employment generation.
Know about IWAI: Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration.
NW 1: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia was declared as National Waterway No.1. States covered under NW-1: States: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal.
Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower projects: Pakal Dul: The 1,000 megawatt Pakal Dul hydroelectric power project on Marusadar River, a tributary of Chenab River, in Jammu and Kashmir will provide 12% free power to the state. The project will not only be the largest hydroelectric power project in the state but also the first storage unit.
Lower Kalnai hydroelectric power plant project involves the construction of a 48MW (2x24MW) hydroelectric power plant. It will include the construction of a dam, tunnel, powerhouse, and substations and installation of generators and transformers and the laying of transmission lines.