- Rainfall to increase over next 100 years, shows IISc. Paper
- Mahadayi project
- Most Feared Military Equipment on Offer
- Energy to Dominate India-U.S. Relations
- Donald Trump calls Modi a ‘true friend’, lavishes praise on PM
- ASI planning barricade around famed stone chariot at Hampi
Why in news?
- An IISc. Paper published recently says – One of the major reasons for the variation in monsoon is the increase in water vapour due to increase in temperature.
- In the next 100 years, the water vapour is also likely to increase, which will result in increase in rainfall.
- The Indian monsoon rainfall increased from the last glacial maximum to the present.
- With the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere going up, resulting in more water vapour, rainfall is expected to increase in the next 100 years.
Why in news?
- As the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project in the Mahadayi basin drags on over the inter-State river water dispute, the cost over the last 20 years has risen steeply from about 94 crore rupees in 2000 to 1,677.30 crore rupees in 2020. Conceived to supply drinking water to areas in the Bombay Karnataka region — the estimated cost, in 2000, of Kalasa Nala was ₹44.78 crore, while that of Banduri Nala was ₹49.2 crore ~ 94 crores together.
- Only a section of the project is nearing completion, with work on both reservoirs yet to be taken up owing to forest clearance.
- The Karnataka State government on August 22, 2000 gave its administrative approval to the project which involves building across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of the Mahadayi river to divert 7.56 TMC of water to the Malaprabha river, which supplies the drinking water needs of the said 3 districts, i.e., Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag.
- The Supreme Court has asked the Union government to notify the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal’s award, the State is now looking to seek its notification, and forest approvals.
- Since it is a drinking water project, the Environment Impact Assessment requirement has been waived.
- According to government sources, the application to release 258 hectares of reserve forest area for the Kalasa project that falls under the reservoir’s catchment area is pending before the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
- Similarly, an application to release 242.51 hectares of forest area for the Banduri project is also pending before the MoEF. “We expect approvals for these applications after the notification,” sources said.
- Sources said that the reservoir and the canal under the Banduri section are yet to be taken up as most of the project area comes under forests, and the State is yet to get sanction from the Central
- Water Commission and MoEF.
- Government sources also pointed out that in the Kalasa project, the 5.15 km-canal has almost been completed after a long delay owing to challenging conditions that involved loose soil and work taken up for only four months in a year.
- Since the reservoir catchment falls in forests, work is yet to be taken up, sources said. So far, 244.89 crore rupees has been spent on the Kalasa canal.
Why in news?
- While announcing that defence deals worth around $3 billion would be signed during his visit, Mr. Trump offered a range of high-tech defence equipment to India, on 24th February 2020.
- The deals are for 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters for the Navy worth $2.2 billion and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Army worth $800 million. The two deals were approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) during the second week of February 2020.
- The other big ticket deals in the pipeline are for armed drones, air defence system, MK-45 127mm naval guns and six more P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft among others. While these are at various stages of procurement, the U.S. State Department has recently notified the sale of an air defence system to Delhi in a deal worth $1.8 billion.
- India signed the foundational agreement, Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), in 2018 which gave the long pending proposal to procure armed Predator drones from the U.S. for the three Services and other deals a push.
Why in news?
Energy could take over from Defence as the strongest link in the Indo-U.S. relationship – with talks over increasing India’s imports of U.S. oil and gas, a clean energy deal including an MoU on building pipeline infrastructure for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) between American oil company ExxonMobil, gas transportation technology company Chart Industries and PSU Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL).
- In 2019, India increased its intake of oil from the U.S. to about 1,84,000 barrels per day (bpd) which was four times more than in 2018, and up from zero imports just four years ago.
- Some of the increase is due to the fact that India had to slash imports from Iran and Venezuela under threat of sanctions from the U.S., but officials say the U.S. has tried to compensate by subsidising U.S. oil transportation costs.
- India is now the world’s third largest oil importer, and it is estimated that every $1 change in the price of oil internationally has a $1 billion dollar impact on India’s energy bill.
U.S. President Donald Trump, on his maiden visit to India on 24th February 2020, heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a “true friend”, and said his rise from a humble background as a teaseller to India’s Prime Minister “underscores India’s limitless promise”.
Mr. Trump’s lavish praise, while addressing a mammoth crowd at the Motera stadium in Gujarat, reflected the bonhomie shared by the two leaders. “Prime Minister Modi, you are not just the pride of Gujarat. You are living proof that with hard work and devotion Indians can accomplish anything, anything at all, anything they want”.
Sardar Patel Stadium, commonly known as Motera Stadium, is a cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, India. As of 2020, it is the largest cricket stadium in the world and one of the largest sports venues overall, with a seating capacity of 110,000 spectators.
Why in news?
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is contemplating installing a wooden barricade around the stone chariot inside Vittala Temple complex at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hampi in Karnataka in a bid to protect it from vandalism.
- Vittala Temple is not only among the most visited protected monuments at Hampi, but is also the most photographed.
- Art historians say it reflects a high degree of craftsmanship of the temple architecture that reached its zenith under the Vijayanagara rulers who reigned from 14th to 17th century CE.