1) Jal Jeevan Mission: Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) in its study, it highlighted the potential impact of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) including significant health and socio-economic benefits.
- Launched in 2019, it envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
- The mission ensures functionality of existing water supply systems and water connections, water quality monitoring and testing as well as sustainable agriculture.
- Creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse, is undertaken in convergence with other government programmes/schemes.
- Paani Samitis plan, implement, manage, operate and maintain village water supply systems. These consist of 10-15 members, with at least 50% women members and other members from Self-Help Groups, Accredited Social and Health Workers, Anganwadi teachers, etc.
- The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.
2) Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System for NRIs: Recently, the Chief Election Commissioner emphasised the need to facilitate postal voting for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). It highlights the Election Commission’s proposal for Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots (ETPBs) for NRIs, which is currently awaiting government approval.
Challenges Related to ETPB for NRIs:
- Eligibility and Verification: Establishing accurate and reliable mechanisms to verify the identity, residency status, and eligibility of NRIs is crucial to maintain the integrity of the electoral process.
- Time Constraint and Postal Delay: There may be postal delays or logistical issues in some countries that may prevent the ballot from reaching the returning officer on time.
- Security and Secrecy: The ETPBs involves the transmission of sensitive electoral data through electronic means, which may pose a risk of hacking, tampering or interception by malicious actors.
- Legal and Technical Challenges: The ETPBs requires amendments to the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and 1951, as well as the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, to enable overseas electors to vote through this system.
3) Arctic Sea Ice Melting: A recent study in the Nature journal suggests that the melting of Arctic Sea ice in summer is inevitable in the coming decades.
- Arctic amplification refers to the phenomenon where changes in surface air temperature and net radiation balance produce larger effects at the poles, specifically in the Arctic region.
- Causes: It is a result of global warming caused by anthropogenic forces or human activities since pre-industrial times, leading to a 1.1-degree Celsius increase in the Earth’s average temperature.
- Weakening of Polar Jet Streams.
- Melting of Ice.
- Changes in Composition of Sea Water.
- Affects Arctic Fauna.
- Gaseous Emissions through permafrost thawing.