India’s Water Vision
GS Paper III
Context: In order to ensure sustainability and serve as an example for other nations in order to attain clean water and sanitation for everyone, India’s Water Vision tackles important water-related concerns, emphasises existing actions, and gives recommendations.
India’s Water vision:
- A government programme called India’s Water Vision aims to provide all Indians with access to clean, safe water.
- It was introduced in 2019 with the goals of ensuring water security, enhancing water usage effectiveness, and boosting the utilisation of reclaimed water.
- The strategy also emphasises water resource preservation and the advancement of sustainable water practises.
- The Prime Minister’s project, Vision India @ 2047, includes the plan.
The Importance of India’s Water Vision:
Climate change: India’s Water Vision was released at a crucial moment when the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report confirmed the negative effects of human-caused climate change on water security and availability, and the UN Water Conference finally takes place in 2023 after a 46-year hiatus.
India’s G20 presidency has the potential to inspire other nations to prioritise water action, resulting in a global water action agenda with unambiguous commitments and promises to hasten the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 by 2030.
Challenges and Interventions in India’s Water Sector:
Jal Jeevan Mission: The Jal Jeevan Mission has increased tap connections in rural households; however, in order to achieve better social, economic, and public health outcomes, it is necessary to ensure the reliability and quality of the water supply through investments in source sustainability and water quality surveillance.
Groundwater regulation: Enhance groundwater governance by advancing decision-making significantly through aquifer mapping, groundwater atlases, and intensive monitoring. Support the passage of legislation and full implementation of the model groundwater regulation law by states like Rajasthan and Punjab.
Emphasis on reducing pollution and restoring the health of rivers through enhancing wastewater management through programmes like the Namami Gange Project and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. By enhancing the treatment infrastructure and charging appropriately for freshwater, the potential of treated wastewater for irrigation may be realised.
Per Drop More Crop initiative: Increase the effectiveness of irrigation in irrigated agriculture by encouraging micro-irrigation techniques like drip and sprinkler systems. Increase the use of water-saving devices by giving small and marginal farmers specific incentives.
Atal Bhujal Mission: Engage local communities in water management through programs like Atal Bhujal Mission, which aims to improve groundwater management in water-stressed blocks by involving communities in the preparation of water security plans, ensuring climate resilience.
Recommendations for Ensuring Sustainability of Water Actions:
Make sure the source is sustainable: Focus on source sustainability and water quality monitoring to ensure access to safely managed domestic water services, which will improve social, economic, and public health outcomes.
Prompt groundwater regulation: Urge all governments to implement groundwater control legislation to the fullest extent possible and to act quickly to remedy groundwater overexploitation, particularly in states that use a significant amount of groundwater.
Enhance wastewater treatment: Make freshwater suitably priced and strengthen wastewater treatment facilities to treat a larger amount of municipal sewage, which will encourage the safe use of treated water for agriculture.
Effective water use practise: Increase the use of water-saving technology in agriculture by giving small and marginal farmers tailored subsidies. This will encourage the adoption of water-efficient techniques and might result in a 20% reduction in irrigation water consumption by 2050.
The preparation and implementation of yearly water security plans, together with the taking of corrective action when necessary to guarantee water security in sensitive areas, will improve community involvement in water management.
The India Water Vision is a thorough road plan for tackling water-related issues and ensuring universal access to clean water and sanitation. India may use its G20 presidency to advance Sustainable Development Goal 6 and act as a role model for global water action by sharing its accomplishments, debating the sustainability of its programmes, and providing assistance to other nations.
Source: The Hindu
GS Paper II
Context: To encourage more of the supply chain to be located in India, the Indian government has provided electronics businesses with PLI incentives of 1,645 crore.
As they are a component of practically all contemporary electronics, semiconductor demand is on the rise.
Many countries are moving away from China’s dominance in the sector due to supply chain vulnerabilities and geopolitical pressures.
Semiconductor manufacturing in India:
- By 2025–2026, electronics manufacturing would be valued $300 billion, according to the Invest India agency.
- While facilities for completed goods have been expanding, fabs for chipsets and screens are less common.
- The first semiconductor production fab will shortly be announced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies.
- India should take use of its strengths in the value chain of electronics production, advises the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
- While foundry companies demand significant investments, OSAT produces higher margins.
- OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) setups handle the less expensive components of chip production and conduct specialised testing.
- A lot of semiconductor plants are often captive subsidiaries of big businesses.
Importance of semiconductor manufacturing:
- Units that produce semiconductors transform raw materials like silicon into integrated circuits that are utilised in virtually all electronic gear.
- Fabs are extremely capital-intensive projects that, for big facilities, can cost billions of dollars.
- Due to the high level of accuracy, expense, and capital required to create complex circuits, fabs require a highly dependable and high-quality supply of water, energy, and insulation from the elements.
- Cornering fab-related value chain segments has been recognised as having strategic value by nations.
- China has surpassed Taiwan in terms of worldwide sales from fabs from the previous year.
- The CHIPS Act was created by the US in order to offer firms who opened fabs and began producing semiconductors there incentives and investments.
- Also, the US campaigned for penalties and limitations against the Chinese semiconductor sector.
India’s advantages in semiconductor manufacturing:
- Due to the fact that a sizable number of semiconductor design engineers worldwide are either Indian or of Indian descent, India enjoys an advantage in the manufacture of semiconductors.
- Semiconductor manufacturing companies like Intel and NVIDIA have sizable sites in India where a wealth of Local expertise is already employed solving design issues.
- An ageing population and sanctions are causing China to lose control of this edge.
- According to experts, China would not be able to achieve its ambitions for the semiconductor industry without a reliable pipeline of high calibre people.
- Massive Investments Are Involved: To operate, a semiconductor fabrication factory needs several pricy gadgets. Within the ultra-clean confines of the facility, sophisticated instruments and equipment are needed to assess quality and transfer silicon from one spot to another.
- Scale economies: To keep up with the industry’s rising demand, semiconductor manufacturers must maintain a high volume of production. At the same time, they must have a solid financial foundation because the Indian market is extremely vulnerable to financial changes.
- Need for highly skilled labour Electronic circuits are gradually built on a wafer formed of pure semiconducting material throughout the multiple-step photolithographic and chemical processing stages that make up semiconductor manufacture. In fact, this calls very advanced abilities.
- Lack of raw materials: From the standpoint of the value chain, it requires silicon, Germanium & Gallium arsenide, and Silicon carbide, none of which are found in India and must be imported.
- Uncertain Indian market: An Indian semiconductor production plant cannot only rely on Indian consumers for all of its sales. In order to counteract shifts from the Indian market caused by market trends, government laws, etc., they must maintain their base of international customers.
- Hazardous waste disposal: During the fabrication process, poisonous substances including arsenic, antimony, and phosphorus are employed. India’s effort to reducing climate change may be hampered by the industry’s hazardous environmental effect.
Policy initiatives in India:
- Make in India: This programme seeks to make India a centre for the design and manufacture of electronic systems on a worldwide scale (ESDM).
- Production-linked incentive (PLI) programme: In December 2021, the Center approved 76,000 crore under the PLI scheme to promote the manufacture of different semiconductor products in India.
- For Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores, and semiconductor linked design, the DLI programme provides financial incentives and design infrastructure assistance at various phases of development and implementation.
- By obtaining industry-grade silicon and design wins by December 2023, the Digital RISC-V (DIR-V) initiative aims to enable the fabrication of microprocessors in India in the near future.
- The goal of the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) is to create a thriving environment for semiconductor and display design and innovation so that India may become a hub for electronics production and design on a global scale.
- To ensure greater resilience in a volatile world, India needs to undertake the following measures to sustain the domestic and global semiconductor demand:
- Policy framework: Since foundry establishment requires a significant investment in capital, it must be backed by a sound long-term strategy and enough funding. Both the government and the entrepreneur must provide this support.
- Fiscal support: According to the Indian government’s text, tax holidays, subsidies, zero-duty policies, financial investments, etc., would be crucial in boosting the Fab and the semiconductor sector in India. This will increase the already significant Budget Deficit.
- Infrastructure Support: A contemporary Fab has to have access to world-class, sustainable infrastructure that includes things like quick transit, a lot of clean water, consistent energy, communication, a clean environment, etc.
- The goal of India’s incentive schemes for electronic manufacturing is to pioneer bold ideas related to well-known companies like Apple.
- The Indian government is attempting to establish an environment that would support the semiconductor industry’s sustained growth and financial viability.
- For the electronics value chain to be successful, it must be an international project including like-minded nations with shared values.
Source: The Hindu
Disqualification of a MP
GS Paper II
Context: In a 2019 defamation lawsuit brought against him for his comments on the surname of a community, a politician was found guilty and given a two-year prison sentence by a Surat court. He was disqualified as a result of this conviction.
Disqualification of a Lawmaker:
- Disqualification of a lawmaker is prescribed in three situations-
- Constitutional provisions: The first is found in Articles 102(1) and 191(1), which, respectively, disqualify members of the Legislative Assembly and Parliament. The grounds in this case include holding a position of profit, being incompetent or insane, or lacking legal citizenship.
- Defection: The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution establishes the grounds for disqualifying members based on defection.
- The 1951 RPA (Representation of The People Act): It stipulates the exclusion of conviction in criminal proceedings.
Disqualification under RPA, 1951:
- It stipulates the exclusion of conviction in criminal proceedings.
- Disqualification due to conviction of offences is covered under Section 8 of the RPA.
- The clause aims to “avoid the criminalization of politics” and prohibit “tainted” legislators from running for office.
- According to Section 8(3), “A person shall be prohibited from holding any office from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further term of six years after his release.”
Appeal and stay of disqualification:
- If a higher court orders a stay of the sentence or rules in favour of the guilty lawmaker’s appeal, the disqualification may be overturned.
- The Supreme Court made it clear in a 2018 ruling in Lok Prahari v. Union of India that the disqualification “would not operate from the date of the stay of conviction by the appeal court.”
- Gandhi will thus file his initial appeal with the Surat District Court before moving on to the Gujarat High Court.
Changes in the Law:
- According to RPA Section 8(4), the disqualification does not go into force until “three months have passed” after the date of the conviction.
- Government representatives have that much time to appeal the verdict to the High Court.
- Nevertheless, the Supreme Court invalidated Section 8(4) of the RPA as unconstitutional in its historic 2013 decision in “Lily Thomas v. Union of India.”
Lily Thomas Verdict:
- A significant decision rendered by the Supreme Court of India in 2013 was the Lily Thomas case.
- The Representation of the People Act (RPA) clause that let parliamentarians convicted of crimes to remain in office as long as they appealed within three months after their conviction was overturned by the court.
- It was condemned for allowing convicted politicians to continue serving in public office while their appeals were pending in higher courts and for helping to criminalise politics in India. The clause, which was a component of Section 8(4) of the RPA, was in place.
- The decision was viewed as a significant step towards guaranteeing that convicted criminals are barred from holding public office and for cleaning up Indian politics.
Source: Indian Express
Compensatory Afforestation (CAMPA) Policy
GS Paper III
Context: In its Synthesis Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasises the importance of protecting natural ecosystems as a means of reducing climate change.
Concerns have been raised by the research over India’s continuous programme of afforestation, which permits forests to be destroyed and rebuilt elsewhere.
Afforestation in India:
- In India, the practise of reforestation is being debated more and more.
- According to a government vow, “an extra (cumulative) carbon sink of 2.5-3 GtCO2e through more forest and tree cover by 2030,” will be added.
Why is CAMPA invoked in the IPCC report?
It has been claimed that India’s Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) encouraged the eradication of natural ecosystems in exchange for the establishment of new forests.
What is CAMPA?
- Under the Supreme Court’s directives, the Indian government created CAMPA in 2002.
- In order to make up for forest land that has been used for non-forest purposes, such as constructing dams, mining, and other development projects, CAMPA promotes afforestation and regeneration initiatives.
- The Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 mandates that project proponents locate and fund the afforestation of additional land.
- The money contributed by project backers is put into a fund that CAMPA is in charge of managing.
Controversies surrounding CAMPA:
- Unused fund: The money given to CAMPA is kept in a fund, but up until 2013, the majority of the fund’s assets remained unutilized, drawing accusations that it helped destroy natural habitats. The fund increased from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 23,600 crore between 2006 and 2012.
- Threatening an endangered landscape: CAMPA has received criticism for supporting initiatives that jeopardised biodiversity corridors and the interconnectedness of the environment.
- Artificial plantation unsustainable: CAMPA has been accused of establishing non-native species or artificial plantations that don’t make up for the loss of an ecosystem.
Why is forestation under CAMPA unsustainable?
- This study emphasises the need of protecting natural ecosystems and limiting their conversion in order to combat climate change. Natural ecosystems store more carbon.
- Installation of renewable energy is more sustainable: The IPCC research also discovered that wind power ranked third highest and that solar power has a greater potential for mitigating climate change than limiting the conversion of natural ecosystems.
Climate costs should be considered in environment impact assessments and the preservation of natural ecosystems should be seen as a key strategy for reducing climate change.
To lessen the effects of the climate catastrophe, policies including afforestation, ecosystem restoration, and renewable energy must be carefully considered.
Source: Indian Express
GS Paper II
Context: Inundated with divorce requests and family conflicts, Mumbai’s sole family court displays a gamut of emotions and emphasises the need for additional family courts to more effectively handle these delicate and complicated matters.
The Nature of Family Court Cases:
- Typical grounds for divorce include domestic abuse, adultery, and dowry, however situations with ludicrous justifications can also be discovered.
- Other problems and counselling: Judges initially recommend counselling to couples looking to dissolve their marriages, and family courts deal with divorce proceedings as well as maintenance, child custody, and alimony issues.
- Emotional scenes: When people battle with the effects of shattered relationships, family courts see heightened emotions including wrath, blame, sadness, relief, and joy.
- Unfair treatment: There are many instances of unfair treatment in the legal system, with powerful people occasionally gaining preferential treatment.
- Empathy-enhancing technology: During the COVID-19 epidemic, non-custodial parents tried to stay in touch with their kids via video conversations.
Why Family courts were established?
Family courts were established to provide a forum for speedy settlement of family-related disputes, emphasizing non-adversarial conflict resolution and promoting conciliation.
What are the challenges faced by Family courts in India?
Backlog of cases: The backlog of cases is one of the biggest problems India’s family courts are currently dealing with. Long waiting times for litigants are a result of the complexity and length of time needed to settle family conflicts.
Lack of infrastructure: It is challenging to manage cases effectively in many family courts in India because there is a lack of suitable courtrooms, personnel, and equipment.
Judge shortage: There aren’t enough judges to handle cases in the family courts, which causes delays.
Poor awareness: The nature and duties of family courts are not widely known in India, which frequently causes confusion and delays in the settlement of conflicts.
Sociocultural issues: The family courts in India frequently face serious difficulties as a result of sociocultural issues like patriarchy, gender inequality, and dowry-related problems.
Restricted jurisdiction: Family courts in India only have the authority to handle specific sorts of matters involving family conflicts. This may cause certain matters to be heard by various courts, which might cause delays and confusion.
The family court in Mumbai demonstrates the difficulty and sensitivity of family conflicts, as well as the urgent need for more family courts to handle these delicate matters. More families will benefit from the assistance and solutions they require during these trying times if there are more family courts available.
Source: Indian Express
Facts for Prelims
Guillotine Motion in Parliament:
- Guillotine means to group together and expedite the passage of financial business in legislative jargon.
- During the budget session, it is a fairly frequent procedural exercise in the Lok Sabha.
- Following the presentation of the Budget, Parliament has a three-week break, during which the House Standing Committees review and compile reports on Requests for Grants from various Ministries.
- The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) creates a timeline for the demands for grants talks once Parliament reconvenes.
- The House cannot debate the spending requests of all Ministries due to time constraints; as a result, the BAC selects a few crucial Ministries for discussion.
- Typically, it covers the requests for funding from the departments of housing, defence, external affairs, agriculture, rural development, and human resources.
- Members take use of the chance to talk about the strategies and operations of Ministries.
- When the House has finished debating these issues, the Speaker uses the “guillotine,” putting all pending requests for grants up for vote at once.
- This often takes place on the final day set out for the budget discussion.
- It is intended to guarantee the Finance Bill’s prompt passage, which will signify the conclusion of the Budget’s parliamentary process.
- A fungus known as Candida Auris or C.auris is multidrug resistant. It poses a grave threat to human health on a worldwide scale.
- The first case of Candida Auris was discovered in a patient in Japan in 2009. Over the past ten years, the fungus has spread to more than 40 nations on five continents.
- Outside of medical settings, the fungus is mostly found in tropical wetlands and coastal areas.
- Unfortunately, because it is a new pathogen, not much is known about Candida Auris at this time.
- Before developing into a fever and the chills, C.auris infections may not exhibit any symptoms. Even taking medication, these symptoms persist and can be fatal.
- Cauris survives on the skin before entering the body through wounds. Once in the bloodstream, it causes severe illness and can lead to death.
High Seas Treaty:
- The High Seas Treaty has four main provisions:
- Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): MPAs are areas where ocean ecosystems, including biodiversity, are under risk from anthropogenic or climate-related factors. They might be referred to as the seas’ national parks or wildlife reserves.
- Marine genetic resources: The oceans are home to a wide variety of organisms, many of which have use for humans in fields like medication research. These species’ genetic information is already being retrieved, and their advantages are being examined.
- Environment Impact Assessment: In accordance with the terms of the new treaty, any commercial or other activities that could significantly harm the marine ecosystem or result in widespread ocean pollution would need to undergo an environmental impact assessment, the findings of which would need to be shared with the rest of the world.
- The treaty places a lot of emphasis on capacity building and technology transfer because many nations, particularly small island states and landlocked countries, lack the resources and knowledge necessary to contribute significantly to conservation efforts or to profit from the wise exploitation of marine resources.