Current Affairs – October 2016

Union Government planning to fast-track irrigation projects in Indus basin

The Union Government is planning to fast-track four projects in Indus river basin to increase irrigation area in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by nearly 2.05 lakh acres.

This decision was taken after India had decided to exploit to the maximum the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab as per Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

Key Facts

Three projects Prakachik Khows Canal in Kargil, Tral Irrigation Project in Pulwama and restoration and modernisation of main Ravi Canal in Jammu’s Sambha and Kathua are expected to be completed by this fiscal. The fourth project of Rajpora Lift Irrigation is planned will be completed by December 2019.

While the first three projects will help irrigate around 1.45 lakh acres of land, the Rajpora Lift Irrigation is expected to help irrigat around 59,305 acres of land. The funds for these projects will be raised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Background

These projects are part of the Union Government’s efforts to irrigate larger swaths across the country by completing small and medium 99 irrigation projects under ambitious Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKYS). Besides, earlier in September 2016, Union Government had decided to review the 56-year-old IWT in the aftermath of the Uri attack, asserting that “blood and water cannot flow together.”

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY): It was launched by the Union Government with an aim to enhance physical access to water on farm. It also seeks to expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on-farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices, etc through major and minor irrigation projects.

Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP): It was launched in 1996-97 to provide central assistance to major and minor irrigation projects in the country. It main objective is to accelerate implementation of such major and minor irrigation projects. Since its inception, 143 projects have been completed under AIBP.

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ITBP celebrates its 55th raising day

The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) celebrated its 55th raising day on 24 October. The force was raised on 24th October in 1962.

ITBP is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 kilometer of India-China Border. It is manning Border Outposts on altitudes raging from 9000 feet to 18700 feet in the Western, Middle and Eastern Sector of the India-China Border.

About Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)

  • ITBP is one of the eight statutory Central Armed Police Forces of India. It was established on 24 October 1962, under the CRPF Act, in the wake of India- China War of 1962.
  • Later Parliament enacted the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force Act, 1992 to provide full autonomy to ITBP. It operates under the aegis of Union Ministry of Home Affairs
  • At present ITBP has strong force of about 50,000 personnel to secure the 3,488 km border with China along Tibet Autonomous Region.
  • ITBP force is also engage in a variety of internal security tasks including civil Medical Camp, disaster management, nuclear, biological and chemical disasters and UN peacekeeping missions around the world.

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