04.03.21 Daily UKPSC Current Affairs



The bane of water guzzling agriculture


The ongoing farmers’ agitation is not a spontaneous event. It is one of the consequences of decades old discontent emanating from paradigm shift in agriculture beginning with the Green Revolution in 1960s.  It would be wrong to think that only the new farm bills are at its roots. At its core, there are seeds of the Green Revolution which have enslaved farmers in various ways. And, above all, these poison-laden seeds have shattered the life base with which the society is nurtured and on the strength of which we dream of a safe future. A natural resource that has been most whipped off by our modern farming is the groundwater of the earth.

Now, a study has ascertained that indiscriminate exploitation of groundwater is resulting in sinking of land worldwide. The study conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science is based on the study of 1,596 cities out of 7,343 major cities selected in the world’s potential land subsidence areas. Most of the areas of land subsidence affected by groundwater exploitation are located in Asia, with about 64 crore people residing there. According to a report by The Guardian, countries like India, China and Mexico are rapidly draining groundwater to meet their food demands. Agriculture is at the forefront of excessive exploitation of groundwater.

Although the earth is a water planet with 70 per cent of it being covered by water, potable water is just 2.5 per cent of the total water, and it is this scarce water which is used to irrigate food crops. In the pre-Green Revolution agriculture, or traditional Indian agriculture, the need for water for irrigation was very low. Most of the food production in that period came from rainfed agriculture in which crops were dependent only on soil moisture maintained by rainwater.

The most astonishing truth in the world of our era is that about 72 per cent of the limited drinking water is guzzled by our modern agriculture – agriculture built around the Green Revolution. Water scarcity is a very big national issue in itself. Major cities in the country, including several regions of the country and the national capital are reeling under water crisis. The water crisis is deepening to the extent that food security is not guaranteed in the near future. The national food security arising out of the Green Revolution, in fact, is at the cost of water security. Food security is important. Water security is even more important. Three-fourths of the 2.5% of water on which human societies, all wild and domesticated animals, industry, commerce and socio-economic systems have also to be dependent, is used by agriculture alone—it should be considered as the biggest crisis arising out of the Green Revolution.

The said study has also revealed some formidable facts. It says that the city of Jakarta in Indonesia has sunk up to two-and-a-half metres in the last decade due to overexploitation of groundwater. Even if the subsidence is only a few centimeters, it is considered to be of alarming proportions. But here, it is in meters. The study also brought out the fact that 25 per cent of the Netherlands is below sea level and most of the areas are prone to land subsidence. The study also mentions that when the sea level increases due to global warming, the threat to the global population will become even more frightening.

India ranks first in the exploitation of groundwater worldwide. According to NITI Aayog, the number of major cities with zero ground water status is increasing. Rainwater harvesting is being made mandatory by the State governments. But due to lack of awareness among the citizens as well as lack of implementation, the groundwater crisis is deepening.

The water of the earth is a natural resource on which our food security, health security, economic security, environmental security etc depend. Unfortunately, our state and local body governments are not aware of this alarming threat. From sowing the seeds of the Green Revolution to harvesting them, the tube wells are being operated round the clock to suck out groundwater, and nobody is even bothered— neither the governments nor the farmers. In many of the Green Revolution areas of the country, groundwater has gone too deep for the motors of tubewells to extract. The concern is just to get electricity for free. What an irony that governments are elected on promises of free electricity and the crisis deepens. When electricity is free, the motors of the tubewells never stop. And now there are evidences from many regions in the world that the land under our feet is sinking into the abyss.


Russia Launched First Arctic-monitoring Satellite

The Russian Space agency, Roscosmos, has successfully launched its first ever Arctic-monitoring satellite that will monitor the Arctic’s climate and environment.

The space agency blasted off the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket which is also carrying the Arktika-M satellite on board.

The rocket was blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on February 28, 2021. The Arktika-M spacecraft was launched to orbit later.

The development of this satellite system in the highly elliptical orbits is required to collect the information in order to solve the operational meteorology problems as well as the hydrology problems.

The satellite will also monitor the climate and environment of the Arctic region.

Arktika-M satellite will also transmit the overview images of Earth’s northern polar region and the adjoining areas every 15-30 minutes.

Right to Repair – European Union


Companies that sell refrigerators, washing machines, hair dryers or TVs in the European Union (EU) will need to ensure that the repair period for these devices is up to 10 years. About:

The Right to Repair electronic products refers to government legislation designed to enable consumers to repair and modify their own consumer electronic devices. Otherwise, manufacturers of such devices require consumers to use only the services they provide.

The concept of Right to Repair originated in the United States, when the United States’ Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act of 2012 required manufacturers to provide necessary documents and information, allow anyone to repair their vehicles.


Chabahar Day Commemorated on March 4 by India


The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) – India will commemorate the “Chabahar Day” on March 4, 2021, before the 2021 Indian Maritime Summit to be held in Delhi from March 2 to March 4. Highlights:

The virtual event will witness the participation of ministers from  various countries which includes Afghanistan, Iran, Armenia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

During the event; Minister of Foreign Affairs S Jaishankar will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony at the ministerial level, while Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways will deliver a keynote speech.

Ministry of Sports restores recognition of Gymnastics Federation of India


The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided to restore recognition of the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) as a National Sports Federation (NSF).

The Sports Ministry in a letter to the GFI president stated that the elections of two office bearers -Sudhir Mittal as President and Kaushik Bidiwala as Treasurer for the term 2019- 2023 have been taken on record of the Ministry.


E-Commerce Portal for KVIC

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Road Transport and Highway Union, expressed his appreciation for Khadi’s successful e-commerce business, saying that it provides a wide range of marketing platforms for a variety of Khadi and rural industrial products. Highlights:

The Khadi and Village Industry Council (KVIC) is a statutory body established under the Parliamentary Act “The Khadi and Village Industry Council Act of 1956”.

It is under the management control of the Mini, Small and Medium-Sized Ministry (MSME).

KVIC promotes, organizes and implements plans for the development of Khadi and other rural industries in rural areas across the country.

Conference by National Bamboo Mission

The National Bamboo Mission organized a National Conference on the Opportunities and Challenges of Indian Bamboo. About National Bamboo Mission:

The National Bamboo Mission (NBM) was implemented as a sub-scheme under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).


The National Bamboo Mission is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, which started in 2006-07, and then came under the jurisdiction of MIDH, applicable to 2014-15 and 2015-16. Objectives of the National Bamboo Mission:

Increase yield through improvements and new varieties.

In potential areas, increase the area covered by bamboo.

Promotion and marketing of bamboo and bamboo handicrafts.

Establish coordination and cooperation among stakeholders to promote the development of the bamboo sector.

Promote, develop and disseminate technology through the perfect integration of modern scientific knowledge and traditional wisdom.

Create job opportunities for skilled and unskilled workers, especially unemployed youth.

E-Daakhil Portal in 15 States/UTs

E-Daakhil’s consumer grievance redressal portal has been put into use in 15 States/UTs. About E-Daakhil Portal:

It is a portal for e-submission of consumer complaints with the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) and other consumer commissions.

NCDRC launched the plan in September 2020, and Delhi is the first state to implement the plan.

The fee for submitting a complaint can also be paid online through the e-Daakhil portal.

The e-Daakhil portal gives consumers and their supporters the right to file consumer complaints online from anywhere, and pay the necessary fees online to redressal their complaints.

It also helps the Consumer Commission to check the complaint online to accept, reject or forward the complaint to the relevant commission for further processing.






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