Current Affairs – November 2016

Current Affairs 2016 with Latest Current Affairs for preparation of IAS, UPSC, Banking, IBPS, Railways and other exams. Current Events November 2016 news summary on current events of national and international importance.

Industries should use recycled groundwater: Water Ministry

The Union Water Ministry is planning to impose restrictions on how industries, farmers and various groups can use groundwater by amending to a Bill on groundwater management.

It was announced by the Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti at a seminar organised by the Central Groundwater Board in New Delhi.

Earlier in 2016, the Water Ministry had made public a draft Bill that proposed significant changes to the way groundwater will be regulated.

Key provisions

  • The bill seeks to sharply regulate extracting pristine water from aquifiers which is currently the norm in much of the country. Failing to adhere it will invite stringent punishment.
  • It seeks to guarantee every individual a certain amount of water “for life” and protecting groundwater from undue exploitation and pollution.
  • Industries can only use recycled water, and activities such as gardening must use treated sewage water. It also mandates the use of rainwater harvesting in residential projects.

However, this new version of the Bill does not compel companies and other stakeholders to use recycled water. It only demands t users “give priority” to recycling water.

What is the issue?

Groundwater depletion is among the grave ecological threats that the country faces. It has become serious concern to use groundwater judiciously. The groundwater is source to around 85 % of drinking water and 65% of water for irrigation. However, water being State subject in the seventh schedule of constitution has stalled previous plans to address the problems. Even existing laws give the owners of a piece of land complete right over its groundwater.

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ISRO drones help to map disasters in north-east

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is using drones to map disasters in north-eastern States by collecting land details and add it to data from remote sensing satellites.

In this regard, ISRO’s Shillong-based North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC) has tested unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to map various problems and disasters.

Key facts

  • NE-SAC has taken the initiative for design and assembling of UAVs for various applications to assess several regional problems in the northeast region.
  • UAVs can perform efficient surveys for disaster-prone or physically inaccessible areas. It can undertake quick damage assessment of floods, landslides and earthquakes and enable timely relief measures.
  • These drones providing ground-based details which are generally combined with data from ISRO’s remote sensing satellites.
  • Recently they were used for to map the area affected by landslides along NH40, Meghalaya’s life line. It also gave the extent of damage caused to pest-infested paddy fields in Naramari village of Assam.

About North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC)

  • NE-SAC is a joint initiative of Department of Space (DoS) and North Eastern Council. It was started in the year 2000. It is located at Umiam (near Shillong), Meghalaya.
  • It aims to provide developmental support to the North Eastern region using Space technology-based communication and technology.
  • Its mandate is to develop high technology infrastructure support to enable NE states to adopt space technology for their development.
  • NE-SAC provides developmental support by undertaking specific application projects using remote sensing, satellite communication, GIS and conducts space science research.

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