Himachal Pradesh Current Affairs

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates three mega hydro projects in Himachal Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three hydro-electric projects (HEPs) with a generating capacity of 1,732 MW in Himachal Pradesh.

All the three power projects are equipped with generating equipment supplied and commissioned by state owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

These three hydro-electric projects are

  • Koldam HEP: It is 4×200 MW capacity project executed by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
  • Parbati HEP: It is Stage-III project with a capacity of 530 MW of National Hydropower Corporation (NHPC).
  • Rampur HEP: It is 412 MW capacity project of Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN).

These three projects will collectively play an important role in boosting the Hydro-power sector of Himachal Pradesh.

BHEL’s contribution

BHEL has a vast experience in hydro-electric projects (HEPs). It has contracted more than 500 hydro-generating sets with a cumulative capacity of more than 29,000 MW of various ratings in India and abroad. BHEL’s hydro installations are in operation in India and also across the world in Bhutan, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Rwanda and Vietnam. Presently, BHEL is executing HEPs of around 3,300 MW in the country in addition to major hydropower projects in DR Congo and Bhutan.

Significance of hydro-projects

Hydropower generated by hydro-projects is renewable source of energy as it uses and not consumes the water for generation of electricity. It does not emit greenhouse gas emission and helps in achieving a low carbon path. India has hydropower potential of around 1,45,000 MW and at 60% load factor, it can meet the demand of around 85, 000 MW. So far, around 26% of Hydropower potential has been exploited in India.


Himansh, India’s remote, high-altitude station opens in Himalayas

A high altitude glaciological research station in Himalaya called Himansh (meaning a slice of ice) began functioning above 13,500 ft (4000 m) in a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

Researchers will use this station as a base for undertaking surveys that would digitize the glacier motion and snow cover variations with exceptional precision.

Key Facts

  • Himansh station will provide much needed fillip to the scientific research on Himalayan glaciers and its hydrological contribution.
  • The research lab has been established by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) in Spiti Valley, one of the most uninhabited parts of the country
  • The station houses instruments to quantify glacier melting and its relation to changing climate.
  • Some of the instruments available at this research facility include automatic weather stations, ground penetrating radars, geodetic GPS systems and other sophisticated facilities.
  • It will also serve as the base for Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for undertaking surveys.


  • The Himalayan region has the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps. It is called the “Water Tower of Asia”.
  • It is source of 10 major river systems that provide irrigation, drinking water and power for over 700 million people (10% of world’s population) living in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Thus, understanding behaviour of these Himalayan glaciers and their contribution to sustainable supply of water for mankind and agriculture is one of grand challenges of Indian scientific community.


ZSI to record climate change impact on animals in five Himalayan states

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has launched long-term monitoring studies project to document the effect of climate change on animal biodiversity in five Himalayan states.

These five Himalayan states are Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

Key Facts

  • Under the project, ZSI will monitor indicators in species like butterflies, bees, fish and other insects to find how their distribution has been affected by climate change.
  • The project has been funded by the Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The duration of the project is for three years.
  • To study the effect of climate change on animal biodiversity latest technologies such as GIS mapping and bioinformatics will be used.
  • The collected data on the distribution of species will be compared with the old records available with ZSI. It will help to depict the impact of climate change on their survival.

About Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)

  • ZSI is the apex institution on animal (fauna) taxonomy in India.
  • Established: 1 July 1916. 2016 is the centenary year of ZSI.
  • Headquarter: It also has 16 regional centres located in different parts of the country.
  • Objective: To promote the survey, exploration, research and documentation on various aspects of animal taxonomy in the Indian subcontinent. It also seeks advancement of knowledge on animal taxonomy.
  • Functions under: Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It activities are coordinated by the Conservation and Survey Division of MoEFCC.
  • It has been declared as the designated repository for the National Zoological Collection as per section 39 of the National Biodiversity Act, 2002
  • Activities Undertaken: Study of the fauna of states, of conservation areas, of important ecosystems. Status survey of endangered species, fauna of India and ecological Studies & Environmental impact assessments.
  • ZSI publishes Red Data Book on Indian Animals. It was first published in 1983 and is similar to Red Data Book published by IUCN.