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UPSC Current affairs from the Hindu and Indian express 6-7 June 2024

Health Regulations Need a Base-to-Top Approach

General Studies Paper

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Health Policies, Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

Relevant Optional Subject

  • Public Administration: Administrative Reforms.

  • Sociology: Health and Medicine.

  • Essay: Health and Human Development.



Profile of the 543: How New Lok Sabha Looks by Age, Professions

General Studies Paper: Paper 2: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations.
UPSC Optional Subject: Political Science and International Relations (PSIR)
Essay Topic: "Democracy and Representation"

  1. High Percentage of First-Time MPs:

  • Implication: The presence of 52% first-time MPs suggests a significant influx of new leaders and perspectives into the Lok Sabha. This may lead to fresh ideas and approaches to governance and policymaking.

  • Political Renewal: Parties are likely prioritizing new faces to appeal to the electorate and bring in fresh energy.

  1. Party-Specific Trends in First-Time MPs:

  • TDP, NCP, SP having the highest percentage of first-timers indicates a major turnover in these parties, possibly reflecting internal reforms or shifts in political strategy.

  • Established Parties: BJP and INC have relatively lower percentages of first-timers, suggesting a blend of experience and new talent within these parties.

  1. Aging Parliament:

  • Increasing Average Age: With the average age being 56 years and only 11% of MPs aged 40 or younger, the data indicates an aging parliament.

  • Potential Impact: Older parliamentarians may bring experience but could also be less representative of the younger demographic's aspirations and issues.

  1. Educational Attainment:

  • High Education Levels: Almost 80% of MPs are graduates, reflecting a well-educated legislative body.

  • Policy Implication: Higher educational qualifications among MPs could result in more informed and effective policymaking.

  1. Professional Backgrounds:

  • Dominance of Farmers and Social Workers: The prevalence of MPs from social work (48%) and agriculture (37%) sectors highlights the significance of these professions in Indian politics.

  • Representation: This could lead to policies favoring rural and social welfare sectors.

  • Diverse Professions: Presence of professionals from law, medicine, arts, and business suggests a varied set of skills and perspectives in the parliament.

  1. Gender Disparity in Education:

  • Few Doctoral Degrees among Women MPs: Indicates a gender gap in the highest levels of educational attainment.

  • Focus on Education: This may prompt discussions on enhancing educational opportunities for women.


The data presents a nuanced picture of the 18th Lok Sabha, reflecting both continuity and change. The significant proportion of first-time MPs points towards political renewal and the introduction of fresh perspectives. However, the aging profile of MPs could be a matter of concern regarding the representation of youth. High educational qualifications among MPs are a positive sign for informed decision-making, while the dominance of social workers and farmers underscores the ongoing importance of grassroots issues in Indian politics. Gender disparities in education among MPs highlight areas needing attention for achieving more balanced representation. Overall, these trends offer insights into the evolving nature of India's parliamentary landscape and the factors shaping its governance.




How Delhi Gets Its Water

Topic: Urban Infrastructure and ResourcesGeneral Studies Paper: GS Paper II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
Optional Subject: Geography (Urban and Regional Planning, Water Resources)Essay Topics: Urban Challenges, Resource Management

Summary:

  • Supreme Court's Directive:

  • Himachal Pradesh ordered to release 7.3 cusecs of water to Delhi.

  • Haryana instructed to aid the facilitation of water flow to the national capital.

  • Source of Delhi's Water:

  • Major sources: Yamuna River, Ravi-Beas river system, Ganga River.

  • Specifics:

  • Ganga via Upper Ganga Canal: 470 cusecs (~245 MGD).

  • Haryana (Carrier Lined Channel, Delhi Sub Branch): 719 cusecs.

  • Direct draws from Yamuna for DJB (Delhi Jal Board): 365 MGD.

  • Water Distribution and Challenges:

  • North Delhi's Wazirabad WTP (Water Treatment Plant): primary source, currently under capacity due to low water levels.

  • The city’s total requirement is 1290 MGD; the current capacity meets only 1,150 MGD.

  • Issues with the Sonia Vihar WTP and other treatment plants due to similar water scarcity problems.

  • Delhi Jal Board faces challenges in meeting demands, especially during peak summers.

  • Reasons for Water Shortage:

  • Reduced water flow in Yamuna due to low release from Hathnikund barrage.

  • Rising temperatures and increased demand.

  • Statistics:

  • Recent record low water levels at Wazirabad (669.40 feet vs normal 674.5 feet).

  • Economic Survey 2023-24 highlights chronic shortage issues.

  • Government Response:

  • Measures to ensure additional water supply.

  • Contingency plans involving groundwater and alternative sources.

Background

Water supply to Delhi has been a longstanding issue, exacerbated by seasonal variations and interstate water disputes. The Yamuna River, a critical source, often has reduced flow during summers due to upstream diversions, affecting the water treatment plants in Delhi. Historically, agreements like the one in 1994 mandated the equitable distribution of water among states, but implementation challenges persist. The recent Supreme Court intervention highlights the ongoing nature of these disputes and the critical need for cooperative management of shared water resources to ensure a sustainable urban water supply for the national capital.


Measures to Solve Delhi's Water Issue

1. Inter-state Cooperation and Agreements:

  • Enhanced Collaboration: Strengthen cooperation between Delhi and neighboring states (Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh) to ensure equitable water distribution, especially during peak summer months.

  • Regular Review Mechanism: Establish a regular review mechanism to monitor water release and usage, ensuring timely interventions and adjustments.

2. Augmentation of Water Supply:

  • Rainwater Harvesting: Promote extensive rainwater harvesting in both urban and rural areas to increase groundwater recharge and reduce dependence on river water.

  • Desalination Plants: Explore the feasibility of desalination plants, particularly to provide additional water supply during critical shortages.

  • Recycling and Reuse: Implement large-scale recycling and reuse of treated wastewater for non-potable purposes such as industrial cooling, gardening, and flushing.

3. Infrastructure Development:

  • Modernize Water Treatment Plants: Upgrade and expand the capacity of existing water treatment plants (WTPs) like the Wazirabad and Sonia Vihar WTPs to handle larger volumes of water efficiently.

  • Pipeline Maintenance: Regular maintenance and timely replacement of old pipelines to reduce water leakage and ensure efficient distribution.

4. Demand Management:

  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Conduct awareness campaigns to educate the public about water conservation techniques and the importance of judicious water use.

  • Water Pricing: Implement a tiered water pricing system to encourage efficient water use and penalize excessive consumption.

5. Legislative and Policy Measures:

  • Enforcement of Regulations: Strictly enforce existing water management regulations such as the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

  • Incentivize Conservation: Provide incentives for adopting water-saving technologies and practices in industries, agriculture, and households.

6. Technology and Innovation:

  • Smart Water Management: Use smart water meters and real-time monitoring systems to detect leaks, measure consumption accurately, and manage supply more effectively.

  • Innovative Agricultural Practices: Promote drip and sprinkler irrigation techniques in agriculture to reduce water consumption and increase efficiency.

7. Long-term Planning:

  • Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM): Adopt an integrated approach to manage water resources, considering the entire watershed, including surface and groundwater resources.

  • Urban Planning: Incorporate water-sensitive urban design principles in city planning to enhance water retention and reduce runoff.



Question 1

Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010?

  1. It applies to both public and private health care establishments.

  2. It aims to regulate the minimum standards of facilities and services provided by health care establishments.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • (a) 1 only

  • (b) 2 only

  • (c) Both 1 and 2

  • (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

  • The Clinical Establishments Act applies to all public and private health care establishments in India, aiming to ensure minimum standards of facilities and services.

Question 2

Consider the following statements regarding the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS):

  1. IPHS are applicable to all government health facilities from primary to tertiary level.

  2. IPHS guidelines are mandatory for all health care facilities in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  • (a) 1 only

  • (b) 2 only

  • (c) Both 1 and 2

  • (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

  • IPHS guidelines are specifically for government health facilities and not mandatory for all health care facilities in India.


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