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22nd May 2023 – Current Affairs

Krishna river water share of Telangana & AP

Context :

  • Telangana has made it clear that it will not accept the 34:66 (Telangana : Andhra Pradesh) ratio imposed on it since the partition for an additional year.

Key highlights:

  • TheSpecial Chief Secretary (Irrigation) of Telangana has stated that Telangana is entitled to a 70% share in 811 tmcft allocated to combined AP by the KWDT-I Award.
  • But the erstwhile AP had apportioned it in 512:299 tmcft (Andhra Pradesh : Telangana) ratio without protecting the in-basin requirements in the fluoride and drought-affected areas of Telangana and considering the judicious needs of the region.
  • The Board Chairman has placed it on record that the matter would now be referred to the Ministry of Jal Shakti for its intervention.
  • Telangana authorities stated that they would not agree for anything less than 50:50 shares till finalisation of shares.
  • TheMinistry of Jal Shakti has failed to refer the matter of water shares to a Tribunal, new or existing, for over two years now, although Telangana had withdrawn its petition in the Supreme Court.

Background –

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal:

  • TheInter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, established the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) in 1969, and it delivered its report in 1973.
  • In addition, it was stated that any time after May 31, 2000, a competent body or tribunal could review or alter the KWDT order.

Second KWDT –

  • The second KWDT was instituted in 2004.
  • It delivered its report in 2010, which made allocations of the Krishna water at 65 % dependability and for surplus flows as follows: 81 TMC for Maharashtra, 177 TMC for Karnataka, and 190 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.

After the KWDT’s 2010 report:

  • Andhra Pradesh challenged it through aSpecial Leave Petition before the Supreme Court in 2011.
  • In 2013, the KWDT issued a ‘further report’, which was again challenged by Andhra Pradesh in the Supreme Court in 2014.

 Creation of Telangana:

  • After the creation of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh has asked that Telangana be included as a separate party at the KWDT and that the allocation of Krishna waters be reworked among four states, instead of three.
  • It is relying onSection 89 of The Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act, 2014.
  • For the purposes of this section, it is clarified that the project-specific awards already made by the Tribunal on or before the appointed day shall be binding on the successor States.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes.
  • Under this, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
  • The Parliament has enacted the two laws, theRiver Boards Act (1956) and the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (1956).
  • The River Boards Act provides for the establishment of river boards by the Central government for the regulation and development of Inter-state River and river valleys.
  • TheInter-State Water Disputes Act empowers the Central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between two or more states in relation to the waters of an inter-state river or river valley.
  • Neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to have jurisdiction in respect of any water dispute which may be referred to such a tribunal under this Act.

About Krishna River

Source: It originates near Mahabaleshwar (Satara) in Maharashtra. It is the second biggest river in peninsular India after the Godavari River.

Drainage: It runs from four states Maharashtra (303 km), North Karnataka (480 km) and the rest of its 1300 km journey in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before it empties into the Bay of Bengal.

Tributaries: Tungabhadra, Mallaprabha, Koyna, Bhima, Ghataprabha, Yerla, Warna, Dindi, Musi and Dudhganga.


India – US : Defence manufacturing cooperation 

Context :

  • The United States and India have decided to support joint development and production in India, including prospective sectors and initiatives where defence industries could collaborate.

Key Highlights:

  • India and the U.S. are discussing possibilities of co-producing jet engines, long-range artillery and infantry vehicles under the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET).
  • The17th meeting of the India-U.S. Defence Policy Group (DPG) chaired by Defence Secretary from India and Under Secretary of Defence for Policy reviewed the progress made in furthering defence industrial cooperation and operationalising the India-U.S. Major Defence Partnership.
  • TheINDUS-X is going to be a major initiative under iCET and the focus is firmly on advancing high-tech cooperation.
  • The General Electric (GE) application to the U.S. government to licence-manufacture its GE-414 engine in India has already been chosen to powerIndia’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-MK2 and another proposal to jointly produce a jet engine for India’s future indigenous jets for which GE is competing with Safran of France and Rolls Royce of U.K.
  • According to the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), only four countries make jet engines for planes.

Background: India – US Defense Tie

  • The two parallel tracks of dialogue began in the 1990s, with the strategic dialogue shifted gears following the nuclear tests of 1998 and imposition of sanctions by the U.S.
  • India-U.S. concluded a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2008.
  • The defence dialogue began in 1995 with the setting up of the Defence Policy Group at the level of the Defence Secretary and his Pentagon counterpart and three Steering Groups to develop exchanges between the Services. This was formalised and enlarged into the India-U.S.
  • Defence Framework Agreement which was renewed for 10 years in 2015. Since then, the U.S. has signed defence contracts of over$15 billion
  • Pathfinder projects have been identified under thisDefence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTII), and an India Rapid Reaction Cell in the Pentagon was set up to get around export control licensing and other bureaucratic hurdles.
  • In 2016, India was designated as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ country and the inclusion of India in the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) category allowed the DTII to graduate to more ambitious projects.
  • The transfer of state-of-the-artUAV technology to India will be the first significant progress.


Understanding a Human pan – genome map

Context :

  • A new study published in the journal Nature describes a pangenome reference map created utilising genomes from47 anonymous individuals (19 men and 28 women), mostly from Africa but also from the Caribbean, Americas, East Asia, and Europe.

What is a genome?

  • The genome is the blueprint of life, a collection of all the genes and regions between the genes contained in our 23 pairs of chromosomes.
  • Each chromosome is a contiguous stretch ofDNA string composed of millions of individual building blocks called nucleotides or bases.
  • Genome sequencing is the method used to determine the precise order of the four letters and how they are arranged in chromosomes.
  • Sequencing individual genomes helps us understand human diversity at the genetic level and how prone we are to certain diseases.
  • To circumvent this, one can have a collective identity card, such as asingle genome identity card for everyone living in a region.

What is a reference genome?

  • The making of the first reference genome in 2001 was a scientific breakthrough, helping scientists discover thousands of genes linked to various diseases and design novel diagnostic tests.
  • However, the reference genome was 92% complete and contained many gaps and errors.
  • Since then, the reference genome map has been refined and improved to have complete end-to-end sequences of all 23 human chromosomes.
  • However, the finished reference genome map does not represent all of human diversity.
  • This new study published in Nature changes this, describing the making of the pangenome map, the genetic diversity among the 47 individuals, and the computational methods developed to build the map and represent differences in those genomes.

What is a pangenome map?

  • The pangenome is a graph of each chromosome, with nodes where sequences of all 47 individuals converge and internodes representing genetic variations.
  • To create complete and contiguous chromosome maps, researchers used long-readDNA sequencing technologies, which produce strings of contiguous DNA strands of tens of thousands of nucleotides long.
  • This helps assemble the sequences with minimum errors and read through repetitive regions of the chromosomes.

Why is a pangenome map important?

  • The human genome consists of 3.2 billion individual nucleotides, with a 0.4% difference between any two individuals.
  • A complete anderror-free pangenome map will help us understand these differences and explain human diversity better.
  • It has added nearly 119 million new letters and aided the discovery of 150 new genes linked to autism.
  • Future pangenome maps that include high quality genomes from Indians will shed light on disease prevalence, help discover new genes for rare diseases, design better diagnostic methods, and help discover novel drugs.