1. Nature’s fury being faced by India.
2. Cooperative Federalism is the need of the hour.
3. Challenges with SSLV.
1. Nature’s fury being faced by India.
Climate change has hampered the ability of forecasting agencies to accurately predict severe events.
Kerala was hit by torrential rainfall which triggered flooding and landslip in some districts. Extreme weather events have heavily impacted the State’s social, economic and development landscape.
A study ‘Four decades of forest loss: Drought in Kerala’ by Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru using remote sensing data pins the blame on eroding forest cover of Kerala between 1973 and 2016 to massive land use changes in the state. (Image courtesy: Mint)
Reasons Of Climate Change In Kerala
Climate change in Kerala is likely due to the combined effect of :
b) land-use change,
d) development activities and
e) population density of the state
1.Climate change has increased the instability in the atmosphere,leading to an increase in convective activity — thunderstorms,lightning and heavy rainfall.
2.The number of heavy rainfall events has increased in the country.
3.The increasing frequency of cyclones and related weather systems in the Arabian Sea have critically affected the livelihood of fishers, many of whom have already lost their homes to erosion
4.A study by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, MoES says the frequency of minicloud bursts (five cm or more rainfall in an hour) is increasing in the Himalayas.
5.The IMD head explained that climate change has increased the surface air temperature, which in turn has increased the evaporation rate. Since warmer air holds more moisture, it leads to intense rainfall
6.The variations in geography and the panKerala vulnerability to disaster risk has aggravated the problem particularly, in Kerala.
7.The government had told Parliament that Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,West Bengal, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland had shown significant decreasing trends in the southwest monsoon rainfall during the recent 30-year period.
8.A digital data of the rainfall since 1901 showed that parts of north, east and northeast show an increase in rainfall.
1.The India Meteorological Department is installing more radars(six radars in the northwest Himalayas), automatic weather stations and rain gauges and satellites to improve predictability
2.It is upgrading its high performance computing system to meet the challenge.
3.The procurement process is ongoing for eight radars in the northeast Himalayan region
4.The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) also plans to upgrade its high performance computing system — from a capacity of 10 petaflops currently to 30 petaflops in the next two years.
5.Currently, the IMD MoES weather modeling system has a resolution of 12 kilometers. The target is to make it six kilometers.
6.The resolution of the regional modeling system will be improved from three kilometers to one kilometer.
Why focus on radars?
Radars are preferred because they have a higher resolution and can provide observations every 10 minutes.
1.It is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods can occur during heavy rains, when ocean waves come on shore, when snow melts quickly, or when dams or levees break.
2.Damaging flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop.
3. Floods can occur within minutes or over a long period, and may last days, weeks, or longer. Floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters.
4. Flash floods are the most dangerous kind of floods, because they combine the destructive power of a flood with incredible speed.
Why Frequent Floods in Urban Areas?
1. Unplanned Development: Unplanned development, encroachments in riparian zones, failure of flood control structures, unplanned reservoir operations, poor drainage infrastructure, deforestation, land use change and sedimentation in riverbeds exacerbate floods.
When rainfall is heavy, the river breaches the embankments and destroys habitations along the banks and on the sandbars.
2.Unplanned Urbanization: Flooding in the cities and the towns has become a frequent phenomenon.
- The reason for this is indiscriminate encroachment of waterways and wetlands, inadequate capacity of drains and lack of maintenance of the drainage infrastructure.
- Poor waste management also exacerbates the problem by blocking drains, canals and lakes. 3.Neglecting Pre-Disaster Planning:
- History of flood management shows that the focus of disaster management has largely been on post-flood recovery and relief.
-Many reservoirs and Hydro-electric plants do not have enough gauging stations for measurement of flood level, which is the principal component for flood prediction and forecast. 4.No Heed to Gadgil Committee Recommendations : In 2011 the Madhav Gadgil committee recommended to declare roughly 1,30,000 sq. km area as environmentally sensitive zone (spanning Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu). However, none of the six states agreed with its recommendations with Kerala particularly objecting to the proposed ban on mining, restrictions on construction activities and embargoes on hydroelectricity projects.
The result of this negligence can now be clearly witnessed in terms of frequent floods and landslides.
Success rate till now
1.IMD’s forecast accuracy had improved by about 30% to 40% for severe weather events such as cyclones, heavy rain, thunderstorms,heat waves, cold waves and fog in the past five years due to an improvement in the observational network, modeling and computing systems.
2.The number of deaths due to cyclones and heat waves had also reduced over the years because of an improvement in the early warning lead time and preparedness, planning, prevention and mitigation approaches.
What Happened in 2018 Kerala Floods?
1. In August 2018 following a torrential rainfall, Kerala witnessed its worst floods since 1924.
2.The dams were stored to the brim. Too much water was stored and consequently, the gates had to be opened. At least 35 of 50 large dams were opened for releasing water onto the already flooded areas downstream.
3. With time, silt deposition had considerably reduced the holding capacity of the dams and the nearby rivers, leading to flooding of embankments and levees.
4. Encroachment, which decreased the dam's built-in area (further reducing the capacity), sand mining and rampant felling of trees and clearing of forest in the Western Ghats also played a major factor in the Flood.
Future ahead :
1.The impact based forecast will improve to become-more granular, specific and accurate by 2025 -the number of radars will increase from 34 at present to 67 by 2025.
2.The IMD will be able to provide forecasts up to panchayat level clusters and specific areas in cities in the coming years.
2. Cooperative Federalism is the need of the hour.
PM Modi said the collective effort of all the States in the spirit of cooperative federalism was the force that helped India emerge from the COVID19 pandemic.
Cooperative Federalism is the concept which reflects the relationship between center and state where they both come together and resolve the common problems with each other’s’ cooperation
State Of Federalism In India
State of Cooperative Federalism in India
1.Separation of Power: Schedule 7 of Constitution provides strict delineation of powers between center and state. (Except during emergencies which comes under judicial review)
2.Article 131 of the Constitution, which gives the Supreme Court exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases between states and the Centre. Ex: Chhattisgarh moved SC against NIA Act in Jan 2020
3.Coalition governments: It has increased states’ bargaining power.
In relation to the imposition of President’s rule under Article 356 of the Constitution, federalism is far more mature than what it was earlier
a)GST Council: Passing of GST is a shining example of cooperative federalism where States and Centre have ceded their power to tax and come up with a single tax system to realize the dream of one Economic India with ‘One Nation, One Market’.
b)Since 10th FC, the state's share has been continuously increasing till 14th FC by devolving 42%.
Success So Far
- During the pandemic, every State played a crucial role by focusing on the grassroots delivery of public services through cooperation across political lines.
- India emerged as an example for the developing nations to look up to as a global leader.
- Focussing on Cooperative federalism, the Governing Council of NITI Aayog discussed key issues such as crop diversification and achieving self sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds and other agri commodities; implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) in school education and higher education; and urban governance.
- The Prime Minister stressed the need to focus on modernized agriculture, animal husbandry, and food processing to become self-sufficient and a global leader in the agriculture sector.
- The States must focus on reducing imports, increasing exports and identifying opportunities. The Prime Minister emphasized the need for self sufficiency in the area of edible oil as India is currently importing edible oil worth about ?1 lakh crore.
- Increasing GST collection requires collective action by the Centre and States. It is crucial for strengthening our economic position and becoming a $5 trillion economy.
- The G-20 presidency in 2023 is an opportunity for the world to look at every Indian State and Union Territory of India and identify talent in the country. PM suggested that there should be dedicated team for G20 in the States to derive the maximum possible benefit from the initiative
- Each State should focus on promoting trade, tourism and technology via every Indian Mission around the world.
Challenges to cooperative federalism
- Several issues such as trust deficit and shrinkage of divisible pools plague the Centre-State relations.
- On one hand the Centre has increased the States’ share of the divisible pool but in reality States are getting a lesser share.
- For instance, as per the 16th FC recommendations, many southern states are on the losing side of their share of tax resources.
- The allocation towards various social welfare schemes has also come down, affecting the States’ health in turn
- Inter-State water disputes like the Mahadayi issue between Goa and Karnataka, Mahanadi water disputes (Odisha and Chhattisgarh) requires cooperation from all quarters (Centre and riparian states).
- Strengthening of Inter-State Council: Over the years multiple committees have recommended strengthening of the Interstate Council where the concurrent list subjects can be debated and discussed, balancing Centre state powers. There is far less institutional space to settle inter-state frictions therefore a constitutional institution like ISC can be a way forward.
- Autonomy to states: Centre should form model laws with enough space for states to maneuver. Centre should give enough budgetary support to states so as to avoid budgetary burden. There should be least interference in the state subjects.
- Democratic Decentralization of administration : and strengthening governments at all levels in true spirit. Power should be decentralized based on the principle of subsidiarity.
Four constituents that will help strengthen the Cooperative Federalism :
a -the finance commission,
b -NITI Aayog,
c- goods and services tax, and
d- de facto decentralization, which will help strengthen the “cooperative” element—a key factor for Indian federation to work effectively.
3. Challenges with SSLV.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said the satellites onboard its maiden Small Satellite Launch Vehicle were no longer usable.
Why did the SSLV fail?
- SSLVD1 placed the satellites into a 356x76 km elliptical orbit instead of the 356 km circular orbit.
- Failure of a logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action caused the deviation.
- SSLV had suffered “data loss” in its terminal stage, after performing “as expected” in all stages.
The SSLV seeks to serve the rapidly growing market for the launch of small satellites into the LEO (Earth’s low orbits) which has emerged in recent times to serve the requirements of the developing nations, universities/institutions for small satellites, and private firms.
- ISRO’s SSLV is capable of carrying satellites weighing less than or equal to 500 kg.
- The launch vehicle will carry the small satellites into 500 km LEO (Low Earth Orbit).
- Manufacturing of SSLV is the responsibility of the commercial arm of ISRO i.e. NSIL (New Space India Limited).
- SSLV is ISRO’s lightest launch vehicle, weighing around 110 tons.
- Contrary to PSLV’s 70 days time to get integrated, the SSLV takes only 72 hours.
- SSLV needs only 6 people to integrate it.
- SSLV of ISRO is a three stage launch vehicle.
- The launch vehicle uses solid fuel in all its stages of flight.
- The vehicle also features both vented and closed interstage.
What is EOS-02?
- The EOS02 is an experimental optical remote sensing satellite with a high spatial resolution.
- EOS02 belongs to the microsatellite series of spacecraft.
- It is to realize and fly an experimental imaging satellite with a short turnaround time and to demonstrate launch on demand capability.
Steps ahead :
A committee will make recommendations and upon implementation, ISRO will come back soon with SSLV D2