Daily Current Affairs – 22-08-2023

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    Concerns about Drilling in the North Sea

    Syllabus: GS1/Geography, GS3/Environment

    News

    • The Prime Minister of the U.K. recently backed plans for new fossil fuel drilling off Britain’s coast.

    North Sea

    • Neighboring countries: Great Britain (Scotland and England),Netherlands, Belgium, France,Norway, Denmark and Germany.
    • The North Sea connects to the Atlantic Ocean via the English Channel in the southwest and the Baltic Sea in the east via the Kattegat and Skagerrak straits. 
    • The North Sea is the mouth of the rivers such as Rhine and Elbe.The Sea hosts two of the world’s largest ports i.e. Hamburg and Rotterdam.

                   

    Geneva Convention

    • The 1958 Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf was the first international legislation to establish the rights of countries over the continental shelves adjacent to their coastlines.The treaty came into force in 1964.
    • The U.K. Parliament passed the Continental Shelf Act in 1964. The Act provides for exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf based on the 1958 convention. It delineated the jurisdiction the U.K. had over oil and gas resources under the seabed near its shores.

    Concerns of offshore drilling 

    • Climate Change:Drilling in seas and oceans for fossil fuels not only aggravates the threat of climate change but also warms oceans and raises sea levels. 
    • Threat to Biodiversity:Offshore drilling is associated with a direct risk to marine biodiversity, as well as with indirect risks to coral reefs, shellfish and the marine ecosystem from acidic waters because of carbon pollution settling into oceans.

    Climate commitments of the U K

    • The Climate Change Committee (CCC) which advises the U.K. and devolved governments on emissions targets, said that the U.K. has not adequately prepared for climate change under the second National Adaptation Programme, 2018-2023.
      • In the U.K National Adaptation Programmes are statutory programmes that the government must follow to help prepare the country for climate change, as required under the Climate Change Act.
    • According to the Climate Action Tracker, U.K.’s climate action is not consistent with the Paris Agreement. Licensing of new oil and gas extraction plans is incompatible with the 1.5°C limit in the rise in temperature.

    The Climate Action Tracker

    • The Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific project that tracks government climate action and measures it against the globally agreed Paris Agreement aim of “holding warming well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.” 
    • It is a collaboration of two organizations, Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute.

    Source:TH

    Urban Vegetated canopies 

    Syllabus: GS1/ Urbanization, GS2/ Government Policies & Interventions 

    In News

    • Recently installed vegetated awnings or canopies in Spain is a mitigation initiative to bring greenery back to urban spaces. 

    What are vegetated canopies?

    • The awnings are tensioned sail-like structures that have been anchored to the facades of surrounding buildings. 
    • They mimic natural canopies found in forests and various plant species.
    • The lightness and ease of installation of the ‘Greenshades’ allow for shade and the presence of greenery in commercial streets and public spaces, where trees or other vegetation are often absent.
    • The awnings can be placed in streets, where planting trees may not be feasible owing to the lack of space. 
    • The plants grow hydroponically, with a water supply point and water outlet for draining purposes.

    How do they work?

    • The sails with anchors and supports are prepared by laying down the specific geotextile substrate or material.
    • An irrigation system is installed at the highest side, from where the waterfalls by gravity, soaking the entire substrate.
    • In addition to water, fertilizer keeps the vegetation in perfect condition.
    • The excess water is collected at the lowest point and into a connected drainage system.
    • The seed mixture is then projected onto the geotextile.
    • After four months, the shade is expected to be completely covered with vegetation.

    Advantages

    • Evapotranspiration: The tensile spaces are designed to reduce the temperature both in their surroundings and under the cover. Behind this is the phenomenon of evapotranspiration, which is the transfer of water to the atmosphere by plants.
    • Reducing Pollution: The plants chosen for these awnings belong to species that are optimised for the absorption of gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. The substrate also absorbs sound waves, reducing noise pollution.
    • Generating oxygen: A square metre of a vegetated canopy generates the oxygen required by a person for the whole year,
    • Street illumination: The hanging planter also allows for the centralisation of water and light installations. This is meant to induce savings as the lights are equipped with movement sensors that illuminate the street according to its need.
    • Generating Ecosystem: The adoption of such canopies could eventually contribute to urban biodiversity, creating a healthier ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife.
    • Sustainability: With half of the world’s human population living in cities and a continuous decline of forest and biodiversity around the world, urban nature plays an increasingly important role in creating cities that are both ecologically and socially sustainable.
    • Health benefits: Presence of built up nature and green neighbourhoods have been associated with reductions in stress and increased levels of physical and mental health.

    Way ahead

    • Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have heated the planet by about 1.2 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. 
    • Temperatures will only stop rising if humans stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and until then heat waves will continue to worsen.
    • These grim predictions make mitigation measures like the vegetated awnings or canopies in Spain more significant.

    Source: TH

    Marine Heat Waves

    Syllabus: GS3/Biodiversity and Conservation

    In News

    • Extreme Heat waves are harming marine life in the Mediterranean Sea.

    About

    • At the end of July, Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures hit a record 28.7 degrees Celsius, with some eastern parts of the waters reaching more than 30.
    • The temperatures could rise further in August, which is usually hotter.

    What are Marine Heat Waves?

    • A marine heat wave is an extreme weather event. It occurs when the surface temperature of a particular region of the sea rises to 3 or 4 degree Celsius above the average temperature.

    Impact

    • Less availability of Oxygen: Gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide dissolve better at colder temperatures, so that means the warmer the water, the less oxygen is available to breathe.
      • Conversely, higher temperatures also cause an increase in metabolism, which in turn means animals have to breathe even more than usual.
    • Algal Blooms: Algal blooms are more common in hotter waters too. Such blooms can further deplete oxygen levels and produce toxins harmful for fish, marine mammals and birds, for instance.
    • Scientists observed mass deaths of benthic species along thousands of kilometers of Mediterranean coastline between 2015 and 2019.
      • Benthics like soft corals, seaweed and seagrasses provide some of the main ocean habitats.
      • Many benthic species are crucial to the marine ecosystem. They filter the water and keep seas, rivers and lakes clean by eating dead organisms. 
      • Some species are an important food source for other creatures or are harvested by humans. 
    • Thriving Jellyfish: Because of higher temperatures, as well as nutrient run-off from farms and sewage, the number of jellyfish are increasing.
      • When currents push the animals together, the Mediterranean turns into a crowded jellyfish hotspot.

    What does extreme heat in the Mediterranean mean for people?

    • Warming seas are already affecting fishing activities in the area. Fishermen are catching fewer familiar species and instead are finding more invasive fish which they have difficulty selling.
    • Habitat loss could also lead to an overall decline in fish populations, while disappearing seagrass means coasts will be more exposed to future storms. 
    • These Marine Heat Waves (MHWs) threaten marine biodiversity and ecosystems, make extreme weather more likely, and negatively impact the fisheries, aquaculture and tourism industries.

    Way Ahead

    • Governments must invest in nature-based solutions and ambitiously reduce fossil-fuel-based emissions to limit the impacts of the climate crisis.
      • One thing all the researchers agree on is that to save the Mediterranean Sea habitat, humans must stop emitting greenhouse gases.
    • Scientists also hope that the UN goal of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 will directly benefit the Mediterranean. So far, just 8% of the sea is protected.
    • Above all, we need to increase the number of strictly protected areas where fishing, diving and boating are not allowed.
    • More research, better prediction and warning systems, and regional measures to build ocean resilience can help protect communities and ecosystems from MHWs.

    Source: IE

    Curbs on Export of Onion

    Syllabus: GS2/ Government policies & interventions, GS3/ Indian Economy

    In News

    • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)  imposed a 40% customs duty on onions exported out of India as part of efforts to tame the local price of the onions.

    About

    • The move comes in the context of the government using trade-related measures to combat inflation. 
    • The government has already placed restrictions on the export of wheat and rice.
    • The export duty on onions imposed by the Centre has been to curb the export of the essential commodity across the globe. 

    Reasons for Onion price Rise

    • In several northern states due to the extreme weather conditions there is a disrupted supply chain of onions.
    • Lack of storage facilities that have not kept pace with rising production.
    • Supply-side induced inflation shocks due to the Russia-Ukraine war and El Nino.

    Onion Production in India

    • India is the largest onion-growing country in the world. Indian onions have two crop cycles, first harvesting which starts from November to January and the second harvesting from January to May.
    • Major varieties found in India: Agrifound Dark Red, Agrifound Light Red, NHRDF Red, Agrifound White, Agrifound Rose and Agrifound Red, Pusa Ratnar, Pusa Red, and Pusa White Round. 
    • Major Onion producing states: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat. Maharashtra ranks first in Onion production with a share of 42.53% followed by Madhya Pradesh.
    • Major Export Destinations (2022-23): Bangladesh, Malaysia, United Arab Emts, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Indonesia.

    Way Ahead

    • Promote modern cold storages and develop a system akin to that of the warehouse receipt system for farmers. 
    • The state can do some stocking under a price stabilisation fund. Use trade policy for price stabilisation. In case of a bumper crop, promote exports and in case of a deficit crop, encourage imports.
    • Encourage the setting up of onion dehydrating units and promote demand for dehydrated onions amongst large consumers (restaurants, fast food chains, army, hospitals, etc).

    Source: LM

    1st Foreign Office Consultations(FOC)between India and Samoa

    Syllabus :GS 2/International Relations 

    In News

    The 1st Foreign Office Consultations FOC between India and Samoa was held in Apia (Samoa).

    •  Samoa will host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting CHOGM on 21st of October next year.

    Key Highlights 

    • Both sides discussed their wide-ranging bilateral relations including their development partnership covering areas such as health, Information and Communications Technology ICT, Education, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises SME, and capacity building. 
    • They also discussed follow-up on Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation FIPIC III Summit, as well as regional and global issues, and cooperation in the framework of the Pacific Islands Forum PIF, Commonwealth, and United Nations. 
      • Both sides also agreed to hold FOC on a regular basis.

     India and Samoa relations 

    • Diplomatic: India was the second country to establish diplomatic relations with Samoa in June 1970.
      • Both countries enjoy warm and longstanding relationships founded on commonwealth heritage, shared values and development aspirations.
    • Bilateral Cooperation : The two countries are bound together by membership of the Commonwealth as well as cooperation in different international fora. 
      • Samoa is an active member of the Small Island Group of Pacific Countries and has been extending support for India’s candidates in international fora and also at the UN on issues of concern .
    • Assistance : The Government of India is also providing regular economic and technical assistance to Samoa. 
      • Samoa keenly participates in training programmes under ITEC, including in the field of Information Technology, small scale enterprises, financial management, and other areas of mutual interest.
      • India and Samoa had signed an MOU and agreed to establish the Centre of Excellence in IT (CEIT) with the assistance of India at the National University of Samoa.
    • Trade : Trade with India is currently not significant.
    • Diaspora:  Some Indian professionals working with multilateral agencies and a few teachers on bilateral contracts are working in Samoa. 
    •  Future Plans :Although there are no immediate business prospects in Samoa, the possibility of strengthening India’s business and commercial presence in this small island country in infrastructure, public health and tourism sectors could be considered.  
    • Samoa
      • It is a group of Polynesian islands and islets in the south-central Pacific Ocean about 1,600 miles northeast of New Zealand. 
      • It consists of the nine inhabited and five uninhabited islands west of the meridian.
        • The country originated from volcanic activity. It is mountainous, with many lakes and rivers.
      • Apia – the capital

    Image Courtesy: World Atlas

    Source:News on air

    PLI Scheme for Electronics 

    Syllabus: GS3/Mobilization of resources

    News: 

    There has been a debate among economists over how well the PLI scheme to boost electronics manufacturing has been faring.

    About:

    • A paper released recently argued that the PLI programme isn’t really pushing India towards becoming a self-sufficient manufacturing powerhouse. 
    • Instead, the government is creating an ecosystem of low-level assembly jobs that will still depend heavily on imports.

    What is the PLI scheme?

    • In order to position India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) and push further the vision of the National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2019, the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) was notified in April 2020. 
    • PLI for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the electronics value chain including mobile phones, electronic components and ATMP units. 
    • Production Linked Incentives of up to INR 40,951 crores will be awarded over a period of 5 years.

    Current Status:

    • Electronics manufacturing in India has grown rapidly with a CAGR of around 23% during the last 5 years, with domestic production of electronics hardware touching $76 bn in 2019-20.
    • The electronics manufacturing industry currently provides employment for over 2 million people in India. 
    • The industry that has shown the most enthusiasm for the scheme is smartphone manufacturing. With the scheme, mobile phone exports jumped from $300 million in FY2018 to an astounding $11 billion in FY23, while India imported mobile phones worth $3.6 billion in FY2018, it dropped to $1.6 billion in FY23. 

    What do economists  argue?

    • The export boom hides more than it reveals as imports of fully put-together mobile phones have come down but the imports of mobile phone components (display screens, cameras, batteries) shot up between FY21 and FY23.
    • All that the companies are doing is importing all of the necessary parts and assembling them in India to create a ‘Made in India’ product. But this low-level assembly work doesn’t produce well-paying jobs and doesn’t have the same multiplier effect that actual manufacturing might provide.

    Way Ahead:

    • It is needed to ensure that the PLI programme should be able to create long-lasting jobs and firmly establish India as a manufacturing and supply hub that adds value to the production process. 
    • To further facilitate large-scale manufacturing, development of a supply chain ecosystem, and building of new manufacturing clusters in the country is needed. 

    Source: TH

    ICMR study on post COVID mortality 

    Syllabus :GS 2/Health

    In News

    • Recently, an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study reported that 17.1% of those hospitalized since September 2020 experience post-Covid conditions. 

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

    •  It is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
    • Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.
      • However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention.
    • The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe 

    About the study

    • The study examined data from 14,419 patients across 31 hospitals, tracking their health over a year through phone follow-ups. 
    • These patients had been hospitalised with moderate to severe Covid-19 infection.
      • Data collected till February 2023 were included in the study.

    Key Highlights of study 

    • It has found that there is a higher chance of mortality within one year following discharge for those over 40 years of age, those with comorbidities, and those who suffered moderate to severe COVID.
    • The study observed that of the 14,419 participants contacted at least once in one year after discharge from hospital, 942 deaths or 6.5% all cause mortality was reported.
      • Overall, the study’s findings suggest that a post-discharge mortality rate of 6.5% in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 warrants a vigilant follow-up.
    • It demonstrated the role of even a single vaccine when it comes to long-term mortality — it found that those who received at least one dose of the vaccine were at a 40% reduced risk of death between the first follow-up at four weeks.

     Limitations

    • The limitations of the current investigation include reliance on telephonic follow-up, which could have led to under reporting of the symptoms.
    •  The present analysis only included patients who were hospitalised due to COVID-19, and consequently, the findings cannot be generalised to all patients who had COVID-19. 
    • The operational definition of PCC used in this study is not an exact match to either the World Health Organization (WHO) or the definition of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 
      • This variation of the definition for PCC may be a source of bias. 

    Way Ahead 

    • Encouragingly, vaccination before the COVID-19 infection confers protection to post-discharge mortality. 
    • Post-COVID Conditions (PCC) and the presence of comorbidities may have some association with late post discharge deaths; further research is warranted in this field.
      • Similar trends were seen in participants in the 18-45 years age group.
    • Public health systems should remain geared up and ask states to monitor trends of cases of influenza-like illnesses.

    ICMR 

    • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
    • The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
    • The ICMR has always attempted to address itself to the growing demands of scientific advances in biomedical research on the one hand, and to the need of finding practical solutions to the health problems of the country, on the other.

    Source: DTE
     

    Facts In News

    Datia Airport

    Syllabus: GS-3 Infrastructure

    Context

    • Recently, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation has laid the foundation stone for Datia Airport in Madhya Pradesh.

    About

    • It is a part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN, which aims to enhance connectivity by reaching the last mile.
    • The Airport once operational will enhance regional connectivity, provide necessary amenities and facilities to people, and contribute to the overall growth of the region.
    • In this Airport, the  flights connecting Khajuraho and Bhopal will be operationalised. 

    Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN

    • UDAN (UdeDeshkaAamNaagrik) is a regional airport development project and the Union Government’s “Regional Connectivity Scheme” (RCS).
    • The UDAN program aims to connect the country’s unserved and underserved airports by revitalizing existing airstrips and airports.
    • The Ministry of Civil Aviation is in charge of implementation.
    • This is a first-of-its-kind global initiative to build economically feasible flights on regional routes, making flying accessible to the average person even in small communities.
    • It is an important component of National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP).
    • Two Main Components of this scheme:
      • The first component is to build new airports and improve existing regional airports in order to increase the number of airports that are operational for scheduled civilian flights.
      • The second component is to add several hundred financially feasible, capped-fare new regional fly routes to connect more than 100 under-served and unserved airports in smaller communities by utilizing “Viability Gap Funding” (VGF) when necessary.

    Source: PIB

    Yasuni National Park

    Syllabus: GS-1/Geography, Places in News

    Context

    • Ecuadorians made a historic decision by voting against oil drilling in Yasuni National Park, a biodiverse Amazonian zone.
      • Exploration for the region’s oil deposits has endangered numerous local species and habitats, as well as the indigenous Waorani people’s way of life.

    About Yasuni National Park

    • Yasuni National Park, a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 1989 and is home to extraordinary biodiversity.
    • The dominant ecosystem is the Humid Tropical Rainforest which forms part of the upper Amazon basin. 
    • It is located in the provinces of Napo and Pastaza in northeastern Ecuador.
    • Yasuni is home to around 670 species of birds, over 150 species of amphibians, and several large mammals such as jaguars, pumas, and tapirs.
    • It is also home to the Waorani and Kichwa peoples, who have lived in the area for generations and have a strong connection to the land.
    • The Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha (ITT) oil fields in Yasuni National Park contain 40% of Ecuador’s crude oil reserves.

     

    Source: TH
     

    New Scheme Guidelines for North Eastern Region

    Syllabus: GS3/Economy

    News

    • The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) releases new Scheme Guidelines for implementing Cabinet-approved Schemes during 15th Finance Commission’s balance period (2022-2026).

    About

    • The Cabinet approved Continuation of the North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) with an outlay of Rs.8139.50 crore for the period from 2022-23 to 2025-26.  
    • The scheme is a central sector scheme.It has two components viz. NESIDS-Road and NESIDS-Other Than Road Infrastructure (OTRI).  
    • The objective of the NESIDS is to support infrastructure development in identified sectors including connectivity in the North Eastern States.
    • The Union Cabinet had also approved continuation of the ‘Schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC)’ for the period from 2022-23 to 2025-26 with a total outlay of Rs.3202.7 crore.
    • The MDoNER Schemes help provide gap-filling support to the eight North Eastern States as per their felt needs, by taking up projects – e.g., for developing infrastructure to mitigate connectivity and social sector deficits and enhancing livelihood and employment opportunities in the region.

    Source:PIB
     

    19th Maritime States Development Council

    Syllabus: GS3/Infrastructure

    In News

    • The Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), unveiled a vision for India’s maritime sector, outlining key initiatives that promise a transformative impact at the 19th Maritime States Development Council meeting.

    About 

    • The Government will soon put together the Bureau of Port Security towards upgrading security across all the ports in the country.
    • Government shared about the Ministry’s ambitious plan to develop Hydrogen Hubs across the Central Government and State Government ports. 
    • All major ports have prepared their Port Master Plans for 2047, and states are also getting their Port Master Plans for 2047 ready. 
      • The total country’s Port capacity will increase from existing around 2,600 MTPA to more than 10,000 MTPA in 2047.
    • The Union Minister announced that all maritime states and Union Territories will participate in the Global Maritime India Summit 2023.
      • GMIS 2023 is a premier maritime sector-focused event to bring together pivotal figures from the industry to explore opportunities, understand challenges, and stimulate investment within India’s maritime sector. 

    Public-Private Partnership (PPP) terminals

    • The role of private players is being progressively augmented, with Public-Private Partnership (PPP) terminals currently handling about 50% of the cargo at major ports and efforts underway to raise their share to approximately 85% in the coming decades. 
    • This strategic move towards privatisation is expected to enhance efficiency and facilitate the scaling of operations. 
    • Ambitious targets have been set to achieve a substantial quantum of 500 MTPA by 2047, underlining the government’s commitment to leveraging the maritime sector as a catalyst for comprehensive national growth.

    About Maritime State Development Council (MSDC)

    • It is an apex advisory body constituted in 1997 to develop the Maritime Sector. 
    • It aims to ensure the integrated development of Major and other notified ports.

    Source: PIB

    Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) 

    Syllabus: GS1/Society/GS2/Governance

    In News

    • The Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR)  wants to Indianise methodologies to study the impact of various schemes and public policy initiatives of the Union government.

    About

    • About 500 researchers will get funding for the studies based on field work focused on a specific geographical region. 
    • The ICSSR also plans to develop “Indianised research methodology tools” to study the country’s social and economic changes.
    • The specific research outcome is to recommend the government about the direction in which these schemes are moving and to inform the people about these policies.

    About ICSSR

    • It was established in 1969 by the Government of India to promote research in social sciences in the country.
    • ICSSR provides grants for projects, fellowships, international collaboration, capacity building, survey, publications etc. to promote research in social sciences in India.
    • Documentation center of ICSSR – National Social Science Documentation Centre (NASSDOC) – provides library and information support services to researchers in social sciences.
    • ICSSR has developed ICSSR Data Service to serve as a national data service for promoting a powerful research environment through sharing and reuse of data among social science communities in India.

    Source: TH

    World Water Week 2023

    Syllabus: GS3/Environmental Conservation 

    News

    • An online session in World Water Week 2023 recently organised on the theme ‘Peer Networking for Integrated River Basin Planning and Management’ with an extensive discussion on the Namami Gange Programme. 

    About World Water Week 

    • It is a global event organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute every year since 1991. 
    •  It serves as a platform for experts, policymakers, and organizations to discuss and collaborate on global water issues.
    • The 2023 edition of the world water week is held in the Waterfront Congress centre, Stockholm with the theme, “Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World”.

    About the Namami Gange

    • Namami Gange is among the world’s acclaimed river rejuvenation programs and was recognized as one of the top 10 “World Restoration Flagships”, during the UN Conference on Biological Diversity (COP 15).
    • The Namami Gange is premised on the five important pillars of; 
      • Nirmal Ganga (unpolluted river), 
      • Aviral Ganga (unrestricted flow), 
      • Jan Ganga (People’s Participation), 
      • Gyan Ganga (knowledge and research based interventions) and 
      • Arth Ganga (people-river connect through the bridge of economy). 
    • There is a five-tiered governance structure of NMCG with the National Ganga Council headed by the Prime Minister at the top.

    Initiatives under the NGP

    1. Namami Gange: Universities Connect: To foster awareness and youth engagement through a network of universities.
    2. The River-Cities Alliance: To provide a dedicated platform for Indian river cities to ideate, deliberate, and share insights for sustainable urban river management. 

    Way Ahead

    • The engagement of local stakeholders forms the bedrock of this programme, hence central to it is bringing districts to the forefront.
    • Collaboration with experts is essential to enrich the decision-making process and ensure a holistic understanding of the river ecosystem.
    • Three critical practices for successful river rejuvenation programs are- 
      • strengthening knowledge-based approaches, 
      • effective data communication and monitoring, and
      • strengthening governmental structures. 
    • Due importance needs to be given to the self-motivated cadres like Ganga Praharis that exemplifies local communities are continuing to uphold the goals of Namami Gange.

    Source: PIB

    EXERCISE MALABAR -23

    Syllabus: Prelims/Current Events of national importance

    News: 

    The 27th edition of Exercise MALABAR, concluded on the East Coast of Australia off Sydney recently. 

    About:

    • The exercise saw participation of Ships, Submarines and aircraft from the Indian Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defence Force and the US Navy
    • The Indian Navy was represented by indigenously built Destroyer INS Kolkata, Frigate INS Sahyadri and P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft. 
    • The exercise reaffirmed the ability of the four navies to operate together and their shared commitment to maritime security and regional stability.
    • It showcased the strong cooperation, shared values and the collective ability of the four participating nations to ensure a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

    Source: PIB