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Prelims Booster

5th March – Prelims Booster

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Centre working on exclusive body for river-linking project

The Central government is working on the establishment of an exclusive body to implement projects for linking rivers.

Details –

  • To be called the National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA), the proposed body is expected to take up both inter-State and intra-State projects. 
  • It will also make arrangements for generating up funds, internally and externally.
  • Once approved, the projects will be pursued as national projects, wherein the Centre will absorb 90% of the cost and the States concerned the rest.
  • As of now, six ILR projects — the Ken-Betwa, Damanganga- Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, Mahanadi-Godavari and Godavari-Cauvery (Grand Anicut) — have been under examination of the authorities.

What is the ‘Interlinking of Rivers Project’?

  • Interlinking of rivers was proposed by Sir Arthur Cotton for inland navigation in southern India in the 19th century.
  • The interlinking of rivers programme is a major initiative to create additional storage facilities and transfer water from water-surplus regions to more drought-prone areas through inter-basin transfers.
  • The project is managed by the National Water Development Agency, an autonomous society works under the Ministry of Water Resources.
  • The basic idea driving the project is actually fairly simple – Connect the Himalayan and peninsular rivers via a network of canals so that excess water from one channel can be diverted to another which has inadequate flow.
  • Given the sheer scale and scope of the project – 30 river linkages and more than 3,000 storage structures spread across a 15,000 km canal network that will transfer 174 trillion litres of water every year, and will cost a total of Rs 5.6 trillion.
  • This puts the river-linking project on a par with some of the most daring feats of engineering attempted in the history of mankind. It is a reimagining of the entire aquatic ecosystem of a country as large and diverse as India.

Black carbon levels spike in Himalayan glaciers

Black carbon concentrations near the Gangotri glacier rose 400 times in summer due to forest fires and stubble burning from agricultural waste, and triggered glacial melt, a study by scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG).

Details –

  • The study finds, the monthly mean concentration of EBC (equivalent black carbon) was found to be minimum in August and maximum in the month of May
  • The observed seasonal mean concentrations of EBC indicated a pristine glacial source and an absence of EBC sources in the locality.

What is Black Carbon? 

  • Black carbon results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass.
  • The fine particles absorb light and about a million times more energy than carbon dioxide.
  • It is said to be the second largest contributor to climate change after CO2.
  • Unlike CO2, which can stay in the atmosphere for years together, black carbon is short-lived and remains in the atmosphere only for days to weeks before it descends as rain or snow.
  • The concentration varied from a minimum of 0.01μg/cubic metre in winter to 4.62μg/cubic metre during summer.

President of India confers 61st Annual Lalit Kala Akademi Awards

President of India has conferred the 61st annual Lalit Kala Akademi Awards on 15 meritorious artists at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan recently.

About Lalit Kala Akademi –

  • The Akademi was inaugurated on August 5, 1954, by the then Honourable Minister for Education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
  • The Akademi was given statutory authority in 1957, under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
  • Since its establishment it has been serving the entire country by promoting the creative endeavours of Indian artists and bringing their arts to bear upon a large number of people, thereby playing an important role in defining and redefining the sensibility of an entire culture, falling under the visual arts spectrum.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.

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