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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 07-April-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. RAGHURAM RAJAN ON COVID – 19

  2. MAHADAYI WATER PROJECT

  3. UKRAINE BATTLES FOREST FIRE

  4. GRADED PLAN

  5. HOW COUNTRIES ARE DEALING WITH THE SURGE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNDER COVID-19 LOCKDOWN

  6. TIGER TESTS COVID-19 POSITIVE IN US

  7. CATS CAN INFECT EACH OTHER WITH CORONAVIRUS: STUDY


RAGHURAM RAJAN ON COVID – 19

Why in news?

  • Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has suggested to the government to call people with proven expertise and capabilities, including from opposition parties, to deal with perhaps the greatest emergency being faced by the country since Independence following the coronavirus outbreak. 


Highlights:

  • He also cautioned that driving everything from the Prime Minister's Office, with the same overworked people, may not be of much help. 

  • The government should call on people with proven expertise and capabilities, of whom there are so many in India, to help it manage its response. It may even want to reach across the political aisle to draw in members of the opposition who have had experience in previous times of great stress like the global financial crisis. 

  • The immediate priority is to suppress the spread of the pandemic through widespread testing, rigorous quarantines and social distancing. 

  • India should now plan for what happens after the lockdown, if the virus is not defeated. 

  • India needs to ensure that the poor and non-salaried lower-middle class, who are prevented from working for longer periods, can survive.


Source : Economic Times ( https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/rajan-urges-govt-to-invite-experts-to-deal-with-economic-impact-of-covid-19/articleshow/74997929.cms )



MAHADAYI WATER PROJECT

Why in news?

  • The ₹500 crore allocation in the State Budget for the Kalasa–Banduri Nala under the Mahadayi project, on the heels of the Supreme Court verdict allowing the State to go ahead with the works in the basin after getting necessary approvals, has brought cheer to farmers. However, officials say the road ahead is not very clear.


Highlights:


About the River :

  • The Mahadayi originates in the Western Ghats and flows 35 km in Karnataka and 52 km in Goa. The downstream state constitutes a large part of the river’s catchment (78 per cent), which also includes runoff from Maharashtra, although the main stem of the river does not flow through that state. Maharashtra, as a result, is also party to the water-sharing dispute


The Dispute :

  • Karnataka side

  • Mahadayi or Mandovi river is said to be the life line of Goa, about two-third of it flows in Goa. Two of its tributaries are Kalasa & Banduari nalas. Karnataka wants to construct dams across the Kalasa and banduri and divert water to Malprabha river which flows in the Belgaum District. This diversion of water will cater to the drinking water needs of villages and towns of Belgaum, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Gadag districts.

Goa side

  • This diversion has been opposed by Goa. Goa claims the transfer of water violates the National Water Policy, which does not allow transfer of water from a deficient basin. In their correspondence with the Union water resources ministry, Goa said its annual demand for water in 2050 would be 2,674 mcm, which is much more than the river’s usable yield.

  • Goa depends upon the flow of River Mahadoyi for keeping its Zuari River navigable till the Mormugao harbor in Panaji.


Source : Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mahadayi-water-project-fund-and-approvals-a-matter-of-concern-despite-budget-bonanza/article31013949.ece?homepage=true )


UKRAINE BATTLES FOREST FIRE

Why in news?

  • Ukrainian firefighters tried to put out two forest blazes in the area around the Chernobyl nuclear power station, which was evacuated because of radioactive contamination after the 1986 explosion at the plant.


Highlights:

  • Ukraine’s emergencies service said one of the fires, covering about 12 acres, had been localized. It said the other fire was about 50 acres.

  • The fires were within the 2,600-square-kilometer Chernobyl Exclusion Zone established after the 1986 disaster at the plant that sent a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe.

  • The zone is largely unpopulated, although about 200 people have remained despite orders to leave.

  • Experts said radiation levels at the fire were substantially higher than normal. But the emergencies service said radiation levels in the capital of Kyiv, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south, were within norms.