- Virtual summit of Quad leaders
- National Mission for Clean Ganga
Virtual Summit of Quad leaders
Focus: GS II- International Relations
Why in News?
Prime Minister participated at a virtual summit of Quad leaders, along with US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Highlights of the Summit:
- The meeting reviewed the progress on Quad initiatives since the September 2021 Quad Summit.
- The leaders agreed on accelerating cooperation, with an objective to achieve concrete outcomes by the summit in Japan later this year.
- Prime Minister underlined that the Quad must remain focused on its core objective of promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
- He called for concrete and practical forms of cooperation within the Quad, in areas like Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, debt sustainability, supply chains, clean energy, connectivity, and capacity-building.
- Developments in Ukraine were discussed in the meeting, including its humanitarian implications. The Prime Minister emphasised the need to return to a path of dialogue and diplomacy.
- The leaders also discussed other topical issues, including the situation in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean region and the Pacific Islands. Prime Minister reiterated the importance of adhering to the UN Charter, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- The leaders agreed to stay in touch and to work towards an ambitious agenda for the forthcoming Leaders’ Summit in Japan.
- The Quad is an informal strategic forum comprising four nations, namely –India, United States of America, Australia and Japan.
- One of the primary objectives of the Quad is, to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
- The group for the first time met in 2007 on the side lines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
- It is considered an alliance of maritime democracies.
- The forum is maintained through meetings, semi-regular summits, information exchanges, and military drills of all the member countries.
- The motive behind the Quad is, to keep the strategic sea routes in the Indo-Pacific, free of any military or political influence.
- The core objective of the Quad is, to secure a rules-based global order, freedom of navigation and, a liberal trading system.
- The coalition also aims to offer, alternative debt financing for nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
Purpose of Quad:
- Recently the U.S. has clarified that Quad is not a security or military partnership.
- Its purpose is to advance cooperation on key priorities in specific sectors that is consistent with international law
- It promotes shared values of its members and underpins peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
- A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that “We work to support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity through open dialogue and information sharing on a diverse set of issue areas, including Maritime Security”.
Significance of Quad:
Quad is becoming a powerful mechanism and its significance is given below:
- Helping to vaccinate a big part of the world and getting a lot of vaccines out there,
- Strengthening maritime security to push back against aggression and coercion in the Indo-Pacific region,
- Working together on emerging technologies and making sure that they can be used in positive ways and an increasingly broad and deep agenda.
- It also supports many activities/platforms as part of its shared approach to the Indo-Pacific.
National Mission for Clean Ganga
Focus: GS III- Environment
Why in News?
Recently, The National Mission for Clean Ganga was awarded the ‘Special Jury Award’ at the 7th India Industry Water Conclave and 9th edition of FICCI Water Awards.
About National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
- National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was registered as a society on under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
- The government had set up the Clean Ganga Fund in 2014 – Using the funded money to finance NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga 2011), cleaning the river, setting up Waste Treatment Plants, Conservation of river biodiversity and related R&D projects.
- NMCG is the implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council NGC).
The NMCG now has the status of an Authority and its key focus would be maintaining required ecological flows in the Ganga, abate pollution through planning, financing and execution of programmes including that of –
- Augmentation of Sewerage Infrastructure
- Catchment Area Treatment
- Protection of Floodplains
- Creating Public Awareness
- The mission incorporates rehabilitating and boosting the existing STPs and instant short-term steps to curb pollution at exit points on the riverfront in order to check the inflow of sewage.
- To maintain the continuity of the water flow without changing the natural season variations.
- To restore and maintain the surface flow and groundwater.
- To regenerate and maintain the natural vegetation of the area.
- To conserve and regenerate the aquatic biodiversity as well as the riparian biodiversity of the river Ganga basin.
- To allow participation of the public in the process of protection, rejuvenation and management of the river.
Need for Ganga Rejuvenation
- The Ganga Basin provides over one-third of India’s surface water, includes the country’s largest irrigated area, and is key to India’s water and food security.
- Over 40 percent of India’s GDP is generated in the densely populated Basin.
- But the Ganga river is today is facing pressures from human and economic activity that impact its water quality and flows.
- Over 80 per cent of the pollution load in the Ganga comes from untreated domestic wastewater from towns and cities along the river and its tributaries.