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22nd June Current Affairs


  1. Kodagu’s ecological fragility in focus again
  2. Jal Jeevan Mission
  3. Golden Langurs


Focus: GS-I Urbanisation, GS-II Recent Government Policies, GS-III Environment & Ecology, Disaster management

Why in news?

Recent IISc. study finds built­ up area in Kodagu rose from 1.55% to 2.69% between 2016 and 2019

More about the study

  • A study by a team of experts from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bengaluru, has highlighted the dangers of increased landslides, if the current development trend is allowed to continue.
  • Native vegetation cover including forest, scrub jungles, sacred groves have declined from45.44% of the land area to 44.46%
  • Interior forest cover of the district had declined from 24% to 22.23%
  • Rapid urbanisation has led to chaotic growth in the region and called for determining the rate and trend of land use conversion for devising a rational land use policy

Recent amendments to land use policy in Karnataka

  • The series of amendments to dilute the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, which enables direct purchase of agricultural land from farmers for industries, and the purchase of agricultural land by non­ agriculturists, is worrying locals
  • Floods impact the poorest strata of society the most, causing a loss of lives, livelihood options, and assets. There is a need for assessment of floods from a ‘sustainable development’ perspective.

Environmental damage is intensifying natural disasters

Causes of floods

  1. The root cause of such floods is the high precipitation levels and encroachment of water flowing areas.
  2. Anthropogenic factors like unscientific development and over-exploitation of nature aggravate the damages.
  3. The global climate has been changing in an unpredictable manner. 2019 July recorded 1.2 degree temperature rise from pre industrial levels.
  4. In the adjoining parts of Western Ghats structural transformation and changing patterns of land use are affecting its environment.
  5. loss in a wetland area will naturally impact the ability to handle floods

Impact of floods

  1. The changing precipitation alters the hydrological systems, resulting in floods and droughts in different regions.
    •  concentrated rainfall affects crops and this leads to food shortage and rural distress
  2.  Floods wash away topsoil and substantial biodiversity of the area, resulting in a reduced river-water flow,
    • This leads to death of earthworms and spread of viral and bacterial diseases

Way ahead

  1. Adequate precautions through dam management and timely public alerts.
    • 92% of dams are on intestate borders
  2. In construction, it is important to take appropriate decisions on the type and size of the structure, location, materials, and permissible damage it will cause to nature.
  3. We need to account for the damage done to natural ecosystems while estimating losses suffered due to natural disasters.

Madhav Gadgil committee report

The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, also known as the Gadgil Commission after its chairman Madhav Gadgil, was an environmental research commission appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests of India. Its recommendations were

  1. Conservation of natural resources should be authorised by local government.
    • Kerala high court upheld this in the case  of kerala government vs. coca cola manufacturing unit in PLACHIMADA panchayat – citing ill effects on health of local people
    • Democracy is not voting once in 5 years instead it is involving ppl in decision making
  2. Declaring areas as eco sensitive zones – 1
    • Immediate stopping of construction and reckless transformation of forested land into plantation

Must shift from “develop recklessly conserve thoughtlessly to develop sustainably, conserve thoughtfully


Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

Jal Shakti Ministry is pitching for additional funding of over 80,000 crore Rs. from the 15th Finance Commission for the project to provide drinking water tap connections to every rural household by 2024

More about Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Priority to cover water quality affected habitations under JJM will be given.
  •  Extra budgetary resources will be made available for JJM and is proposed to be allocated along with Gross Budgetary Support among States/ UTs as per the allocation criteria.
  •  Good performance of the States/ UTs will be incentivized out of the fund not utilized by other States at the fag end of the financial year.
  • The physical and financial progress of the mission is proposed to be monitored through IMIS and fund utilization through PFMS.
  • Imbibing the spirit of 73rd Amendment of Constitution of India, Gram Panchayats or its sub-committees will play a crucial role in planning, designing, execution, operations and maintenance of the in-village infrastructure.
  • To bring in sense of ownership and pride among rural communities, 5% capital cost contribution towards in-village water supply infrastructure in hilly, forested, and more than 50% SC/ ST dominant population villages, and 10% in the remaining villages is proposed.
  • Communities to be rewarded by providing 10% of the in-village infrastructure cost of the scheme which will be maintained by them as a revolving fund to meet any unforeseen expenditure due to break down, etc.
  •  JJM envisages a structural change in the provision of drinking water supply services. The service provision should change to ‘utility based approach’ centered on ‘service delivery’. Such a reform is proposed in the guidelines so as to enable the institutions to function as utilities focusing on services and recover water tariff/ user fee.
  • Third party inspection is proposed to be undertaken before making any payment to instill accountability.
  • Functionality assessment of the schemes implemented under JJM will be done by Department/ NJJM.

Information about Finance commission

  • Article 280 of the Constitution of India provides for a Finance  Commission as a quasi judicial body.
  • It is constituted by the president of India every fifth year or at such earlier time as he considers necessary.
  • Recently President constituted 15th finance commission for 2020-2025


  • The Finance Commission consists of a chairman and four other members to be appointed by the president.
  • President determines the tenure of the members.
  • They are eligible for reappointment.

Recommendations made by the Finance Commission are advisory in nature

Some information about 15th Finance commission

Devolution of taxes to states: The share of states in the centre’s taxes is recommended to be decreased from 42% during the 2015-20 period to 41% for 2020-21

Meaning of terms.

  • Income distance: Income distance is the distance of the state’s income from the state with the highest income.
  • Demographic performance: The Commission used only 2011 population data for its recommendations.  
    • The Demographic Performance criterion has been introduced to reward efforts made by states in controlling their population.  

Forest and ecology: This criterion has been arrived at by calculating the share of dense forest of each state in the aggregate dense forest of all the states.

  • Tax effort: This criterion has been used to reward states with higher tax collection efficiency.   It has been computed as the ratio of the average per capita own tax revenue and the average per capita state GDP during the three-year period between 2014-15 and 2016-17.


Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

Primatologists have observed that the Gee’s golden Langur endemic to the semi­evergreen and mixed­ deciduous forests straddling India and Bhutan suffer forced abortion and infanticide because of inbreeding

More about Golden Langur

  • It is an Old World monkey found in a small region of western Assam, and in the neighbouring foothills of the Black Mountains of Bhutan.
  • Long considered sacred by many Himalayan people, the golden langur was first brought to the attention of the western world by the naturalist E. P. Gee in the 1950s.


  • Their habitat lies in the region, south of the Brahmaputra River, on the east by the Manas River, on the west by the Sankosh River, all in Assam, India, and on the north by the Black Mountains of Bhutan
  • Chakrashila WLS in Assam is India’s first wildlife sanctuary with golden langur as the primary species.

Protection status

They are listed in Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

IUCN status: Endangered

December 2023