Daily IAS Current Affairs March 04, 2020 | PendulumIAS

2020-03-04 | 6 minutes

General Studies-II- Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies; Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

1. National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA)


The Central Government is working on the establishment of the National Interlinking of Rivers Authority, a special body for connecting rivers.


  • This body is being set up by the proposal of the National Water Development Agency (NWDA).
  • The proposed body will work on both inter-state and intra-state projects.
  • It will also aid in generating funds internally and externally.
  • As of now, no specific timeline has been set for the formation of the authority.

Prelims Facts

National River Linking Project (NRLP):

  • It was formerly known as the National Perspective Plan that aims at linking two or more rivers so that the water ‘deficit’ basins can receive water from water ‘surplus’ basins.
  • The programme aims to ensure greater equity in the distribution of water by enhancing the availability of water in drought-prone and rain-fed areas. The other benefits include enhanced irrigation potential, hydropower generation, flood control, navigation, water supply, fisheries, salinity and pollution control, etc.
  • Under the National Perspective Plan (NPP) prepared by the Ministry of Water Resources, NWDA has already identified 14 links under Himalayan Rivers Component and 16 links under Peninsular Rivers Component for inter-basin transfer of water-based on field surveys and investigation and detailed studies.
  • Some of the projects are:
    • Ken-Betwa link project has been declared as National Project by the Government of India.
    • Damanganga-Pinjal Link Project and Par-Tapi-Narmada Link Project are twin links concerning Maharashtra and Gujarat.
    • Mahanadi Godavari link is the first and critical link of the nine link system of Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar under Peninsular Component of NPP.
    • Mahanadi-Godavari and Godavari(Inchampalli)-Krishna link projects
    • Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga link

(Source: Jal Shakti Ministry website)


General Studies-I- Geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

General Studies-III- Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

2. Black carbon concentrations increased on the Gangotri glacier


Recently a study by scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) has been released.


Black carbon concentrations on the Gangotri glacier increased by 400 times in summer. Due to which the glaciers were rapidly melting.

Major findings of the study-

  • Black carbon concentrations on the Gangotri glacier had increased by 400 times in summer. Due to which the glaciers were rapidly melting.
  • Black carbon concentrations increase from a minimum of 0.01μg / cubic meter in winter to 4.62μg / cubic meter in summer.
  • Two major reasons for the increase in black carbon concentrations are forest fires and the burning of agricultural waste.
  • The Equivalent Black Carbon (EBC) aerosols contribute significantly towards global warming due to its light-absorbing nature.
  • The study found that the water crisis in the Himalayan regions is very large.

(Source: DST website)

Prelims Facts

  • Black carbon is produced by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass.
  • These finer particles absorb light and receive about a million times more energy than carbon dioxide.
  • It is the second-largest contributor to climate change after CO2.
  • But unlike CO2, which can remain in the atmosphere for years together, black carbon is short-lived and only stays in the atmosphere for weeks before it comes down to rain or snow.
  • India is the second-largest emitter of black carbon in the world.

Gangotri Glacier:

Gangotri Glacier is located in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand State and is one of the sources of the river Ganga. The snout of the glacier is in the shape of the cow’s mouth and is called Gaumukh.


General Studies-I- Indian Culture - Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

3. Food and Hospitality Fair- AAHAR


The 35th edition of Food and Hospitality Fair - AAHAR has started in New Delhi.


  • This fair will run for 5 days from March 3 to 7.
  • The fair is being organized by the India Trade Promotion Organization, ITPO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Agriculture and Processed Food Products Development Authority and many other top industry associations.
  • The program will provide an insight into operational and food safety concerns and innovations to become energy-efficient, thereby increasing budget-friendly raw material productivity.
  • This year the fair will include countries such as Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, UK, UAE and Hong Kong etc. as partners.
  • This year, the fair will feature over 750 participants from India and abroad, offering a wide range of food products, machinery, hospitality, food and beverage equipment and decoration items and confectionery items.


General Studies-III- Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

4. World Wildlife Day

Prelims Facts

World Wildlife Day is celebrated every year on 3rd March to mark the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 1973.

The day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation of wild flora and fauna provides to people.

CITES Secretariat is the facilitator for the global observance of this day.

The theme for the year 2020: “Sustaining all Life on Earth”

The theme aligns with the following SDGs:

SDG 1: No Poverty- End Poverty in all its forms everywhere

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production- Ensure sustainable production and consumption patters

SDG 14: Life below Water- Conserve and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

SDG 15: Life on Land - Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Need to conserve life on land:

Every year, 13 million hectares of forests are lost, while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares, disproportionately affecting poor communities.

While 15 percent of the land is protected, biodiversity is still at risk. Nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants have been illegally traded. Wildlife trafficking not only erodes biodiversity, but creates insecurity, fuels conflict, and feeds corruption.

Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity, which are part of our common heritage and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and peace and security.

(Source: UNDP website)

Mains Questions:

  1. What are the issues and concerns involved in interlinking of rivers in India? (200 words)
  2. What could be the possible impacts of increasing the concentration of black carbon on glaciers? (150 words)