Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Sep 08, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Ground water in India

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Major central level water institutions responsible for ground water management

Central Water Commission

  1. Central Water Commission is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  2. The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development.
  3. It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.
  4. Central Water Commission CWC is headed by a Chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.

Central Ground Water Board

  1. Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), is a multi-disciplinary scientific organization   of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  2. The mandate of Central Ground Water Board is to " Develop and disseminate technologies and monitor and implement national policies for the scientific and sustainable development and management of India's ground water resources, including their exploration, assessment, conservation, augmentation, protection from pollution, and distribution, based on principles of economic and ecological efficiency and equity”.

Central Ground Water Authority

Central Ground Water Authority has been constituted under Section 3 (3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to regulate and control development and management of ground water resources in the country.

The Authority has been conferred with the following powers:

  1. Exercise of powers under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for issuing directions and taking such measures in respect of all the matters referred to in sub-section (2) of section 3 of the said Act. Section 5 is given below.

  1. To regulate and control, management and development of ground water in the country and to issue necessary regulatory directions for the purpose.
  2. The Central Ground Water Authority is regulating withdrawal of ground water by industries/ projects.

Central Pollution Control Board

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), statutory organisation, was constituted in September 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Read bot history of CPCB. It is an important body.

Chapter II of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 deals with the constitution of Central board, State Boards and their functions. According to Section 3 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Central Board is constituted by the Central Government and is called Central Pollution Control Board.

According to Section 4, the State Boards shall be constituted by the State Government and it shall be called as State Pollution Control Board.

According to Section 4(4) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, no State Board shall be constituted for a Union Territory. In relation to a Union Territory, the Central Board shall exercise the powers and perform the functions of a State Board for the Union Territory.

Powers of The Central Pollution Control Board

The Central Pollution Control Board is vested with the following powers:

  1. The Central Pollution Control Board is empowered by Section 18 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 to give directions to the State Pollution Control Boards.
  2. The Central Pollution Control Board has powers to perform any of the functions of the State Pollution Control Board in case of non-compliance of any directions given by the Central Pollution Control Board.
  3. The Central Pollution Control Board is empowered to issue directions under section 33A of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 to direct the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process or the stoppage or regulation of supply of electricity, water or any other service.

Functions of Central Pollution Control Board:

According to section 16 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Central Board has been assigned to discharge the functions as follows:

  1. Advise the Central Government

The Central Pollution Control Board can advise the Central Government on any matter concerning the prevention and control of water pollution.

  1. Co-Ordination with State Board

Central Pollution Control Board is to Co-ordinate the activities of the State Boards and resolve dispute among them.

  1. Technical Assistance/Guidance to State Boards

Central Pollution Control Board is to provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigations and research relating to problem of water pollution and prevention, control or abatement of water pollution.

  1. Training Programme

Central Pollution Control Board is to plan and organize the training of persons engaged or to be engaged in programmes for the prevention, control or abatement of water pollution.

  1. Organizing Comprehensive Programme

Central Pollution Control Board is to organize through mass media a comprehensive programme regarding the prevention and control of water pollution.

  1. Functions as State Board

By the Amending Act, 1988, the Central Board can perform such of the functions of any State Board as may be specified in an order made under section 18(2) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 i.e., “power to give directions”-“every State Board shall be bound by such directions in writing as the Central Government or the State Government may give to it.

  1. Publication of Statistical/Technical Data

Central Pollution Control Board is to Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical relating to water pollution and the measures devised for its effective prevention and control and prepare manuals, codes or guides relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents and disseminate information connected therewith.

  1. Laying Down Standard for A Stream/Well

Central Pollution Control Board is to lay down, modify or annul, in consultation with the State Government concerned the standards for a stream or well.

  1. Execution of Programme at National Level

Central Pollution Control Board is to plan and cause to be executed by a nationwide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water pollution.

Status and Role of Household savings in Indian Economy

The Household sector is the major contributor towards the gross savings in the Indian economy, and thus is the major supplier of financial resources for investments. Hence the dynamics of assets and liabilities of households can offer insights into the prevailing situation of the Indian economy.

In this story, we take a look at the trends in financial savings of the household sector based on RBI annual reports and other relevant data, to ascertain the trajectory of India’s economic growth.

Current Affair 2:
Increase in the Net Financial Savings of Household sector in 2019-20

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As per data provided in RBI Annual Reports, the Net Financial Savings (NFS) in 2019-20 as per preliminary estimates is 7.6% of the Gross National Disposable Income (GNDI).  This is a substantial increased compared to previous financial year, where in Household NFS was 6.4% of GNDI.

  1. In fact, the savings in 2018-19 was the lowest recorded during in the current GDP series (i.e. from 2011-12). The earlier lowest was in 2014-15 when Household NFS was 6.8% of GNDI.
  2. The preliminary estimate for 2019-20 at 7.6% will place it at par with 2017-18, which also happens to be the second-best year in terms of savings in the current GDP series after 2015-16’s NFS at 7.9% of GNDI.

House Holds’ Net Financial Savings

House Holds’ Net Financial Savings is derived as a difference of the Household Gross Financial Savings (GFS) during the year and Household Gross Financial Labilities. Hence the NFS is the result of two dynamics i.e. Gross savings and Gross liabilities.

As per RBI’s data, Household GFS for 2019-20 is 10.5% of GNDI. This is a marginal improvement over last year when it was 10.4 % of GNDI. See below

The increase in NFS is due to the fall in Household Financial Liabilities. See above.

As the data indicates, the increase in Household Net Financial Savings is not due to a relative increase in the Gross financial savings for 2019-20. The increase is the result of a major shift in the other factor i.e. Household Financial liabilities. A sharp fall from 4 to 2.9 is observed.

What does decline in financial liabilities mean?

According to RBI, a significant decline in the share of borrowings from the banking sector in total liabilities during 2019-20 reflected the economic slowdown and risk aversion of banks. Economists say that since there is an economic slowdown and income levels of individuals are either going down or not increasing, the financial sector will practice higher caution in extending loan and that is what is leading to a decline in financial liabilities of households. It is reflective of a slowdown in the economy.


The recently released GDP figures for Q1 of 2020-21 indicate a severe contraction of the economy.

In this context, the impact on COVID-19 on the household sector is yet to be seen. With the fall in incomes, there could be a fall in the financial assets being created. We could also witness a scenario where in people are forced to go for borrowings in view of the COVID-19 related hardships. Decrease in savings and increase in liabilities could result in a fall in net financial savings for 2020-21.

Current Affair 3:
First World Solar Technology Summit

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It’s the first summit, so we have to give respect. Learn.

The International Solar Alliance hosted the First World Solar Technology Summit on a virtual platform, with a focus on new Technologies and Innovations in the field of Solar, on 8 September 2020. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the First World Solar Technology Summit. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), as the convenor of ISA Global Leadership Task Force on Innovation, worked with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in organizing the summit.

The conference saw ISA signing four agreements, signaling its intent to focus on key areas of the solar energy sector.

  1. A partnership agreement between the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy, the World Bank and ISA on One World, One Sun, One Grid.
  2. A partnership between the Global Green Growth Institute and ISA on the promotion of a million solar pumps.
  3. A Memorandum of Understanding with the International Institute for Refrigeration, Paris and ISA.
  4. Partnership agreements on the implementation of 47 projects between ISA and NTPC.

Objective of Summit

The objective of the ISA First World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) will be to bring the spotlight on state-of-the-art technologies as well as next-generation technologies which will provide impetus to the growth and propagation of Solar Energy globally. The Summit will provide a global platform for stakeholders to engage on innovations in technology that will catapult the world towards a high Solar growth trajectory.

About International Solar Alliance:

When it was launched? Never forget.

The launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was announced by H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and H.E. Mr. Francois Hollande, former Hon’ble President of France on 30th November 2015, at the 21st session of United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France.

Few points: UPSC takes statements directly from website, so it’s important to read website once.

  1. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was conceived as a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs.
  2. The ISA will provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar-resource-rich countries, through which the global community, including governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and other stakeholders, can contribute to help achieve the common goal of increasing the use and quality of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
  3. ISA will not duplicate or replicate the efforts that others (like International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), United Nations bodies, bilateral organizations etc.) are currently engaged in, but will establish networks and develop synergies with them and supplement their efforts in a sustainable and focused manner.

When it entered into force?

When the ISA Framework Agreement entered into force on December 6th, 2017, ISA formally became a de-jure treaty based International Intergovernmental Organization, headquartered at Gurugram, India.


As on 30 July 2020, 87 Countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA and of these 68 have deposited their instruments of ratification.

Only members between Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn can join ISA? No, all members of the United Nations can join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) under the recently amended ISA Framework Agreement. See below.


Solar Energy related Schemes:

  1. Solar energy has taken a central place in India's National Action Plan on Climate Change with the National Solar Mission as one of the key Missions.
  • National Solar Mission (NSM) was launched on 11th January 2010 and is in line with India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
  • Its objective is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating the policy conditions for solar technology diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
  1. One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG): India’s ambitious cross-border power grid plan which seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others.
  2. KUSUM Scheme: It aims to replace the use of diesel in the farm sector with solar energy with the target of solarization of 2.8 million irrigation pumps.
  3. Solar Charkha Mission: It is an enterprise driven scheme and envisages setting up of ‘Solar Charkha Clusters’ which will have 200 to 2042 beneficiaries. These solar charkhas are operated using solar power, keeping the environment clean and generating sustainable employment for the artisans.
  4. 750 megawatt (MW) solar project which has been inaugurated in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.

Enough. Can we move to next topic? Obviously.

Current Affair 4:
India, U.S. and Israel collaborating in 5G

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India, Israel and the United States have begun collaboration in developmental area, and in next generation of emerging technologies, including a transparent, open, reliable and secure 5G communication network.

This much is enough for news, but we will learn about 5G also. Vey important.

5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, your 4G LTE connection. With 5G, you’ll see exponentially faster download and upload speeds. Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks, will also drastically decrease.

Unlike LTE, 5G operates on three (low-mid-high) different spectrum bands. While this may not seem important, it will have a dramatic effect on your everyday use.

What can 5G do?

Improve broadband

The shift to 5G will undoubtedly change the way we interact with technology on a day-to-day basis, but it’s also an absolute necessity if we want to continue using mobile broadband. Carriers are running out of LTE capacity in many major metropolitan areas. In some cities, users are already experiencing slowdowns during busy times of the day. 5G adds huge amounts of spectrum in bands that haven’t been used for commercial broadband traffic.

Autonomous vehicles

Expect to see autonomous vehicles rise at the same rate that 5G is deployed across the U.S. In the future, your vehicle will communicate with other vehicles on the road, provide information to other cars about road conditions, and offer performance information to drivers and automakers. If a car brakes quickly up ahead, yours may learn about it immediately and preemptively brake as well, preventing a collision. This kind of vehicle-to-vehicle communication could ultimately save thousands of lives.


Public safety and infrastructure

5G will allow cities and other municipalities to operate more efficiently. Utility companies will be able to easily track usage remotely, sensors can notify public works departments when drains flood or streetlights go out, and municipalities will be able to quickly and inexpensively install surveillance cameras.

Remote device control

Since 5G has remarkably low latency, remote control of heavy machinery will become a reality. While the primary aim is to reduce risk in hazardous environments, it will also allow technicians with specialized skills to control machinery from anywhere in the world.

Health care

The ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) component of 5G could fundamentally change health care. Since URLLC reduces 5G latency even further than what you’ll see with enhanced mobile broadband, a world of new possibilities opens up. Expect to see improvements in telemedicine, remote recovery, and physical therapy via AR, precision surgery, and even remote surgery in the coming years


One of the most exciting and crucial aspects of 5G is its effect on the Internet of Things. While we currently have sensors that can communicate with each other, they tend to require a lot of resources and are quickly depleting LTE data capacity.

With 5G speeds and low latencies, the IoT will be powered by communications among sensors and smart devices. Compared to current smart devices on the market, these devices will require fewer resources, since huge numbers of these devices can connect to a single base station, making them much more efficient.

Current Affair 5:
China launches initiative for global data security issues

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China has launched an initiative to address global data security issues, a countermove to the US "clean network" program that is aimed at discouraging other countries from using Chinese technology.

The move comes amid a deterioration in US-China relations encompassing trade tensions and competition in telecommunications and artificial intelligence technologies, with the US accusing Chinese technology companies of threatening American national security.

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