Daily News Analysis 7 to 8 May 2023

 

Table of Contents

GS-3

  • What did India’s first national water-body census find?

Facts for Prelims

  • Legislative Councils
  • Metastasis
  • Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)

What did India’s first national water-body census find?

Context

India is facing a water crisis with groundwater decline and biodiversity loss, and climate change increasing the frequency of floods and droughts.

Water crisis in India

  • Groundwater depletion and biodiversity loss
  • Climate change increasing frequency of floods and droughts
  • Importance of water bodies for buffering against climate variability
  • Contribution of water bodies to food and water security and livelihoods
  • Threats to water bodies from pollution, encroachment, urbanization, and drying

Need for Action Plans and Baseline Data

  • Need for action plans to conserve and manage water bodies
  • Uniform and easily accessible data for managing water bodies
  • Integration of contextual and traditional knowledge of communities with formal data
  • Lack of data on smaller water bodies that are critical to rural India and cities

Details of the Census

  • Objective to develop a national database with information on water bodies
  • Coverage of all natural and human-made units bounded on all sides for storing water
  • Development of software for data entry and mobile app for capturing location and visual of water bodies
  • Training workshops for trainers in all States and Union territories
  • Building on existing and publicly available satellite-derived datasets

What the Data Shows

  • Most water bodies in India are very small, less than one hectare
  • Water bodies show regional patterns that correlate with rainfall
  • Most water bodies have never been repaired or rejuvenated

Improvements Needed in the Census

  • Census does not address the role of water bodies in supporting biodiversity
  • Inconsistencies in water body categories and their definitions
  • Lack of standardization in data across states
  • Some common reasons for disuse of water bodies may have been left out
  • Concerns over missing data in some districts.

Conclusion

The first edition of this provides information on how to restore water bodies, including who needs to be involved, how much money is needed, and who will benefit. It also explains who owns the water bodies and how much it costs to build and repair them. If we keep doing these surveys every few years, we can see how water in the country is changing over time.

Legislative Councils

The MLAs from Uttar Pradesh recently voted in a special election for the state\’s Legislative Council.

What are Legislative Councils?

  • Legislative Councils are an important part of India\’s bicameral system of legislature.
  • They are the equivalent of the Rajya Sabha at the state level.
  • States can choose to have a Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad as an upper house in addition to the Legislative Assembly.
  • Legislative Councils are found in states with bicameral legislatures.
  • The members of Legislative Councils are either indirectly elected or nominated by the Governor.

Creation and Abolition of Legislative Councils

  • Under Article 168, states can have one or two houses of legislature.
  • Article 169 leaves the choice of having a Legislative Council to individual states.
  • The power of creating or abolishing a Legislative Council lies with the Parliament.
  • A resolution passed by a state\’s legislative assembly for the creation or abolition of its council is not binding on Parliament.
  • To set up a Legislative Council, a state\’s legislative assembly must pass a resolution with a two-thirds majority.

Membership of Legislative Councils

  • The Legislative Council of a state cannot have more than one-third of the total number of MLAs of the state.
  • There must be a minimum of 40 members in the Legislative Council.
  • One-third of the members are elected by local authorities specified by Parliament.
  • One-third of the members are elected by the Legislative Assembly.
  • One-twelfth of the members are elected by graduates with at least three years standing.
  • One-twelfth of the members are elected by teachers with at least three years of experience.
  • One-sixth of the members are nominated by the Governor.

Powers and Functions of Legislative Councils

  • Legislative Councils act as a check on the powers of the Legislative Assembly.
  • They can delay or stop the passage of a bill by up to three months.
  • They can review and amend bills passed by the Legislative Assembly.
  • Legislative Councils can investigate issues of public importance.
  • They can remove members of the state\’s Public Service Commission.

Legislative Councils in India

  • Only seven of India\’s 28 states have a Legislative Council.
  • The states with a Legislative Council are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Some states that previously had a Legislative Council, such as Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, have abolished them.
  • The Legislative Councils of Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh were abolished and later reinstated.
  • The creation or abolition of a Legislative Council is often a matter of political controversy.

Metastasis

Context

A new study shows how cancer cells might be able to indicate if they can spread to other parts of the body.

What is Metastasis?

  • Metastasis is the process in which cancer cells spread from the primary tumor to other parts of the body.
  • It is an advanced form of cancer.
  • The new tumor formed is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor.
  • Metastases is the plural form of metastasis.
  • Metastases can also occur when cancer cells break off and grow in nearby areas.

How Does Metastasis Happen?

  • Cancer cells break away from the primary tumor and travel through the blood or lymph system.
  • They then attach to another organ or tissue and grow into a new tumor.
  • Not all cancer cells can metastasize. Only a few cells have the ability to break away and grow elsewhere.

What Are the Common Sites for Metastasis?

  • The lungs, liver, bones and brain are the most common sites for cancer to spread.
  • Different types of cancer have different tendencies for metastasis.
  • For example, breast cancer commonly metastasizes to the bones, liver, and lungs.

How is Metastasis Detected?

  • Doctors use imaging tests such as CT scans, PET scans, and MRI to detect metastasis.
  • Symptoms of metastasis depend on where the new tumor is growing and can vary greatly.
  • Biopsies can confirm if a tumor is a metastasis or a new, unrelated cancer.

Can Metastasis Be Treated?

  • Treatment options for metastatic cancer depend on the type of cancer and where it has spread.
  • Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
  • Some types of metastatic cancer can be controlled for long periods of time with treatment, while others are more difficult to treat.

Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)

Context

The value of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) stocks has increased by 100% in the past two months.

Background:

  • RVNL is a government-owned company that was established in 2003.
  • It operates under the Ministry of Railways.
  • The company started functioning in 2005.

Functions:

  • RVNL is responsible for implementing railway infrastructure projects.
  • It raises extra-budgetary resources for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
  • The company creates project-specific SPVs and hands over completed railway projects to the relevant Zonal Railway for operation and maintenance.

Status:

  • RVNL was granted Mini-Ratna status in 2013.
  • Recently, it has been granted Navratna status, which allows more autonomy and financial powers to the company.
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