Daily News Analysis 22 May 2023

Table of Contents


  • Tracking SDG progress the Bhopal way

Facts for Prelims

  • Rajaji Tiger Reserve
  • Baralacha La Pass
  • Kiru Hydro-Electric Power Project

Tracking SDG progress the Bhopal way


Bhopal has become the first city in India to join the growing global movement on localisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following the release of its Voluntary Local Review (VLR).

About Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR):

  • VLRs are local-level reviews that assess the progress and challenges of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • They are bottom-up and participatory processes involving multiple stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, academia, and citizens.
  • The aim of VLRs is to enhance accountability, transparency, and learning among local actors, as well as to inform national and global policies.

Bhopal\’s VLR:

  • Bhopal\’s VLR is a result of collaboration between the Bhopal Municipal Corporation, UN-Habitat, and a collective of over 23 local stakeholders.
  • It demonstrates the city\’s aspirations for sustainable and inclusive urban transformation.
  • The review used a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches, including mapping of developmental projects.
  • It identified key challenges and opportunities for Bhopal to achieve the SDGs, such as urban governance, climate resilience, social inclusion, economic development, and innovation.
  • The VLR was launched by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, along with an Agenda for Action, outlining Bhopal\’s vision and roadmap for becoming a smart, green, and livable city by 2030.
  • The Agenda for Action proposes concrete actions and initiatives to address the gaps and priorities identified in the VLR.

Significance of VLR:

  • Cities are crucial stakeholders in the SDGs, and VLRs demonstrate how local actions contribute to equitable and sustainable transformations.
  • VLRs help build partnerships and coalitions of stakeholders toward achieving the SDGs.
  • While aligning with national and state-level plans is desirable, VLRs provide flexibility for cities to tell their own stories within a framework of their choice.
  • VLRs translate the global targets of the 17 SDGs into local indicators, reflecting the realities and priorities of the city.
  • Cities can focus on specific SDGs for detailed reviews based on their priorities and logistical comfort.

India\’s Progress:

  • India has made commendable efforts in adopting, localizing, and achieving the SDGs.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) has published a National Indicator Framework (NIF) for monitoring the SDGs in India.
  • States and Union Territories have prepared vision documents based on the SDGs, and many have taken steps to localize the goals.
  • India has implemented various initiatives to achieve the SDG targets, such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), National Food Security Act, healthcare sector initiatives, climate change mitigation measures, and support for sustainable consumption and production.
  • The JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, and mobile) has played a role in driving financial inclusion and improving benefits targeting for SDG 1 (No Poverty).
  • The NITI Aayog SDG India Index is a sub-national measure of SDG development, capturing the progress of states and union territories in achieving the SDGs.

Way Forward:   

  • Bhopal\’s VLR sets an example of how cities can lead in implementing the SDGs and collaborate with partners for global goals.

It is expected to inspire other cities in India and beyond to join the VLR movement and contribute to the transformation toward sustainable development.


Rajaji Tiger Reserve


Recently, Union Minister for Environment releases young Tigress from Corbett National Park to Motichur range of Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

About Rajaji Tiger Reserve:


  • Rajaji Tiger Reserve is an Indian national park and tiger reserve located in Uttarakhand.
  • It spans across three districts: Haridwar, Dehradun, and Pauri Garhwal.
  • Situated along the hills and foothills of the Shiwalik ranges, it represents the Shiwalik ecosystem.

Formation and Name:

  • In 1983, Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary was merged with Motichur and Chilla wildlife sanctuaries to form Rajaji National Park.
  • The park was named after Rajgopalachari, a prominent freedom fighter known as \”Rajaji.\”

Ecological Diversity:

  • The park is located in a transition zone between the temperate western Himalaya and central Himalaya, contributing to its rich species diversity.
  • It encompasses various forest types, ranging from semi-evergreen to deciduous and from mixed broad-leaved to Terai grassland.
  • The park falls under the Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest type classification.


  • Rajaji Tiger Reserve is home to a diverse range of plant species.
  • Some notable flora found in the park includes Rohini, Palash, Shisham, Sal, Sandan, Khair, Arjun, Baans, Semul, and Chamaror.


  • The reserve has a significant population of tigers and Asian elephants.
  • Various other wildlife species can be found, such as leopards, jungle cats, Himalayan black bears, sloth bears, striped hyenas, gorals, sambar deer, wild pigs, spotted deer, and barking deer.

The park also boasts a vibrant presence of butterflies and small birds, adding to its natural beauty.


Baralacha La Pass


Border Roads Organisation (BRO) recently rescued 76 tourists including seven children stranded at Baralacha La Pass.

About Baralacha La Pass:


  • Baralacha La Pass is a high mountain pass located along the Leh-Manali highway, connecting Leh district in Ladakh and Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh.
  • It is situated in the Zanskar range and lies close to River Bhaga, a tributary of the River Chenab.

Elevation and Significance:

  • The pass is situated at an elevation of 16,040 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest motorable passes in India.
  • It is mentioned in Rudyard Kipling\’s novel \’Kim,\’ where it is referred to as the source of the Suraj Tal Lake, used by the character Lama to enter India from Tibet.

About Border Roads Organisation (BRO):

Formation and Purpose:

  • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is a road construction executive force in India.
  • It was established on 7 May 1960 with the aim of securing India\’s borders and developing infrastructure in remote areas of the northern and northeastern states.

Motto and Responsibilities:

  • The motto of the BRO is \”Shramena Sarvam Sadhyam,\” which means everything is achievable through hard work.
  • The BRO is responsible for developing and maintaining road networks in India\’s border areas and neighboring countries.
  • It operates in 19 states, three union territories, and neighboring countries like Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Sri Lanka.


  • The BRO consists of officers and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF), which forms the parent cadre of the organization.
  • It is also staffed by officers and troops from the Indian Army\’s Corps of Engineers on deputation, providing additional support and expertise.


Kiru Hydro-Electric Power Project


The Central Bureau of Investigation searched 12 locations in Delhi and Rajasthan in connection with a case alleging corruption in the award of civil works related to the Kiru hydro-electric power project in Jammu and Kashmir.

About Kiru Hydro-Electric Power Project:

Location and Design:

  • The Kiru Hydro-Electric Power Project is proposed to be built on the Chenab River in the Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • It is designed as a Run of River Scheme, which means it utilizes the natural flow of the river without creating a large reservoir.
  • The project is developed in compliance with the requirements of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

Development and Joint Venture:

  • The project is being developed by Chenab Valley Power Projects, a joint venture between National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation, and Power Trading Corporation.
  • This collaboration aims to harness the hydroelectric potential of the region.

Addressing Energy Deficiency and Improving Infrastructure:

  • The Kiru Hydro-Electric Power Project will contribute to overcoming the energy deficiency in the Northern region of India.
  • In addition to generating electricity, the project will have positive impacts on various aspects of infrastructure development.
  • It will lead to improvements in transportation, education, medical facilities, and road networks in the region.

Electrification and Job Creation:

  • The power plant will bring electricity to rural areas, reducing the dependence of local communities on alternative sources of energy.
  • This increased power supply will foster the development of small-scale and cottage industries in the region.
  • The growth of these industries will create employment opportunities and generate revenue for the local population.
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