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22nd May 2023

Krishna River water share of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh

  • 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:

  • The Special 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.
  • The Ministry 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to refer the matter of water shares to a Tribunal, new or existing, for over two years now, although Telangana had withdrawn its petition in the Supreme Court.

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal:

  • The Inter-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 a Special 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 on Section 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, the River 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.
  • The Inter-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 - U.S: Defense manufacturing cooperation

  • 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).
  • The 17th 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.
  • The INDUS-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 power India’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 this Defence 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-art UAV technology to India will be the first significant progress.

Bakhmut Dispute between Russia-Ukraine

  • Bakhmut, in Ukraine's Donetsk province, has been the scene of heavy battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces for more than nine months.

Key Highlights:

  • The president of Ukraine refuted claims made by Russia and the mercenary Wagner Group that they had taken control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

What is the significance of Bakhmut?

  • Bakhmut is a small mining town in Eastern Ukraine with a pre-war population of 70,000-80,000.
  • It does not have any militarily important industry or strategic location, but is proximate to multiple important roads which may have strategic value to the Russian advance.
  • Its significance is more symbolic than anything else, as it was a political choice to gain a victory after months of sending their army in an offensive.
  • Moscow needs to capture Kramatorsk and Sloviansk to complete its "liberation" of Donetsk, and Bakhmut could help them advance in Chasiv Yar.

Open Network for Digital Commerce

  • The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) aims to "democratise e-commerce" and "provide alternatives to proprietary e-commerce sites," is expected to be officially launched by the Union government this year.

Key Highlights:

  • While it has invited businesses to join the ONDC platform, large e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart have been hesitant to participate.
  • The Indian Commerce Minister has requested that these enterprises join ONDC as soon as possible or risk being left behind.

What is the ONDC?

  • The government wants to change the fundamental structure of the e-commerce market from a platform-centric model to an open-network model.
  • The ONDC is modelled after the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) project, which allows people to send or receive money irrespective of the payments platforms on which they are registered.
  • To make such transactions a reality, the government has ordered companies to list themselves on the ONDC.
  • The pilot version of the ONDC was launched last year in a few major cities and thousands of sellers have already been on-boarded onto the platform, but Amazon and Flipkart have not yet on-boarded their main shopping platforms onto the ONDC network.

Why is the Centre pushing for it?

  • The government believes that the ONDC will end the domination of the e-commerce market by a few large platforms.
  • Amazon and Flipkart have been accused of promoting seller entities in which they hold indirect stakes, and food delivery apps such as Swiggy and Zomato have been accused of charging high commissions from sellers.
  • With an open network like ONDC, the government hopes to level the playing field and make private platforms redundant.

Way ahead:

  • The government's ONDC will be tested to come up with an efficient alternative to e-commerce platforms.
  • It remains to be seen if and how the government’s open network will list products offered by various sellers.
  • Competition often pushes e-commerce platforms to prominently list products that are most likely to catch the fancy of buyers.
  • Platforms may invest money to build exclusive on-boarding and listing processes, but if the open network's rules prevent them from benefiting from these investments, they may cease to make them anymore.
  • Building an efficient marketplace for the sale of goods and services may be the key challenge for ONDC.

Understanding a Human Pan-genome Map

  • A new study published in the journal Nature describes a pangenome reference map created utilising genomes from 47 anonymous individuals (19 men and 28 women), mostly from Africa but also from the Caribbean, Americas, East Asia, and Europe.

Key Highlights:

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 of DNA 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 a single 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-read DNA 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 and error-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.

Short News Article




Kudumbashree is the largest network of women in Kerala for empowerment and poverty eradication, which is completed 25 years recently.

About: Kudumbashree Initiative

  • Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala.
  • The name Kudumbashree in Malayalam language means ‘prosperity of the family’.
  • The name represents ‘Kudumbashree Mission’ or SPEM as well as the Kudumbashree Community Network. What is commonly referred to as ‘Kudumbashree’ could mean either the Kudumbashree Community Network, or the Kudumbashree Mission, or both.
  • Kudumbashree was set up in 1997 following the recommendations of a three member Task Force appointed by the State government.
  • Its formation was in the context of the devolution of powers to the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Kerala, and the Peoples’ Plan Campaign, which attempted to draw up the Ninth Plan of the local governments from below through the PRIs.


Liberalised Remittance Scheme

Spending in foreign exchange through international credit cards will be covered under the RBI's liberalised remittance scheme (LRS), under which a resident can remit money abroad up to a maximum of $2.50 lakh per annum without the authorisation of the Reserve Bank, as per a Finance Ministry notification.

About: LRS

  • The RBI introduced the LRS scheme or Liberalised Remittance Scheme to facilitate hassle-free foreign exchange. Under this scheme, an Indian resident can transfer funds of up to USD 250,000 in a financial year outside India.
  • Indian residents, apart from corporates, partnership firms, HUFs, etc., are eligible for LRS. Even minors are eligible for LRS, given that their guardian signs Form A2.

Environment & Ecology

Greater Flamingo


A greater flamingo was rescued from Najafgarh wetland, bordering Haryana.


  • Out of the six species of flamingo on our planet, the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most common and widespread member of the flamingo family.
  • The Greater Flamingo is an easily identifiable, colorful wading bird and is often found flocking together with the Lesser Flamingo in the great salt lakes across Africa.
  • These famous pink birds can be found in warm, watery regions on many continents and also occur in Asia in the coastal regions of India and Pakistan, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and in Southern Europe.
  • The closest relatives to the Greater Flamingo are the Chilean Flamingo, Caribbean Flamingo and the Lesser Flamingo. There are no subspecies of the Greater Flamingo
  • The flamingo’s pink coloration comes from its diet of Shrimp and other pink crustaceans.


India as a Quad-led bio-manufacturing hub


In March 2021, the Quad set up a Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group to facilitate cooperation, monitor trends, and scout for opportunities related to developments in critical and emerging technologies that included biotechnology.

The Quad and complementary strengths

  • Bio-manufacturing hub: Quad should establish a bio-manufacturing hub in India to benefit from the country’s economic potential and address supply-chain vulnerabilities.
  • Quality of research: India is among the top performers in the field of bio-manufacturing in both the quality of research output and in the share among research publications. 
  • Low-cost bio-manufacturing: India also has significant potential in low-cost bio-manufacturing. The cost of manufacturing in India is around 33% lower when compared to that in the U.S.

Strengthening physical infrastructure

  • Chinese intensions: China has also expressed its intention to capture this market, similar to how it dominated small-molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). 
  • Chinese dominance: Concerns about China’s dominance in APIs pushed India to launch a production-linked incentive scheme that allocated $2 billion to the pharmaceutical sector to make biopharmaceuticals, APIs, key starting materials, and related products.
  • Reducing dependence: Dependence in the bio-manufacturing sector will be detrimental to both India and the Quad. The proposed hub can help facilitate technology transfer, connect investors, and establish a bio-manufacturing fund.
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