Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are on the verge of signing an MoU on reviving the Saraswati River.
About Saraswati River:
The Saraswati River will be revived by constructing the Adi Badri Dam near the river’s origin to ensure year-round flow.
The ‘Lost Saraswati River’ in North-Western India is the Vedic Period’s (8000-5000 BP) holiest and mightiest river.
The Saraswati River is referenced in the early Rigvedic ‘Nadistuti’ hymn between the east and west banks of the Yamuna.
This river forms a transboundary between India andPakistan.
The Vedic Saraswati River began in the Himalayas and flowed through Punjab, Haryana, western Rajasthan, and Gujarat between the Indus and Ganges rivers.
It is eventually emptied into the Arabian Sea’s Gulf of Kachchh.
Saraswati during ancient times:
The name ‘Saraswati’ appears throughout the majority of ancient literature, including the Vedas, Manusmriti, Mahabharata, and Puranas.
Along the banks of the Saraswati River, the Harappan civilization’s sites were uncovered.
Around 5000 BP, this river vanished because of climatic and geological changes.
It is thought that the Saraswati River continues to flow under the Thar desert and that its Himalayan link is still intact.
The remnants of this vanished river have been preserved as paleochannels under aeolian sand/alluvium.
Heart Failure Genetic Risk Factors
Why in News:
The CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) scientists are identifying genetic mutations that cause dilated cardiomyopathy, a common cardiovascular disease that frequently progresses to heart failure.
In comparison to western nations, India has an extremely high death rate from cardiovascular disorders. Severe cardiomyopathy is a kind of cardiovascular illness that often results in heart failure.
Cardiomyopathy alters the heart muscle’s essential structure, impairing the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively.
This raises the chance of developing heart failure, which may result in sudden cardiac death.
Cardiomyopathies are classified into several subtypes. The most prevalent kind is dilated cardiomyopathy.
The beta myosin heavy chain gene (-MYH7) is one of the most frequently involved genes in heart disorders worldwide.
The researchers analysed this gene in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and ethnically matched healthy controls to determine which mutations are connected with the condition in Indian patients.
The investigation identified 27 variants, seven of which were unique and were found solely in Indian individuals with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Four of them were so-called missense mutations.
Bioinformatics tools predicted that they were pathogenic.
This discovery may aid in the development of gene-editing techniques that may be used to restore cardiac contractility in Indians with new mutations.
Deputation Policy and Recent Events:
Why in News:
The Centre has suggested modifications to the IAS (Cadre) Rules to exert more control in the central deputation of IAS officers.
Central Delegation has often been at the centre of conflicts between the federal government and the states.
What is the current deputation policy?
In the Indian Administrative Service, central deputation is governed by Rule-6 (1) of the IAS (Cadre) Rules-1954, which was amended in May 1969.
According to the rule, A cadre officer may be assigned to work for the Central Government or another State Government, or for a firm, organisation, or group of persons, whether incorporated or not, that is completely or largely owned or controlled by the Central Government or another State Government.
What happens in the event of a disagreement?
In the event of a dispute, the Central Government shall resolve the subject, and the State Government or State Governments involved shall give effect to the Central Government’s judgement.
However, current guidelines did not refer to a time restriction for resolving such disputes.
What changes are being proposed?
The idea will give the Centre a stronger voice.
The modifications empower the Union government to engage the services of an Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), or Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officer stationed in a State without obtaining the agreement of the State government.
The Centre may discharge an officer from his or her cadre if the State government fails to implement the Central government’s decision within the given time period.
In the event of a dispute, the central government shall resolve the subject, and the state government or state governments involved must give effect to the central government’s judgement “within a defined period.”
For any significant time-sensitive flagship initiative or project, the services of an AIS officer with domain knowledge may be necessary.
What caused these recent changes?
Numerous state/joint cadres are failing to sponsor sufficient officers for central deputation as part of the Central Deputation Reserve. As a consequence, the number of officers available for central deputation falls short of the number required at the Centre.
How many IAS/IPS officers are deputised?
In 2021, just 10% of mid-level IAS officials would be assigned to the Union government, down from 19% in 2014.
The decline in the central deputation of IAS officials becomes even more pronounced as the overall pool of such officers increased from 621 in 2014 to 1130 in 2021, an increase of about 80%.
According to Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) statistics, the number of IAS officials on the central deputation reserve has decreased from 309 in 2011 to 223.
Debris in space
Why in News:
In November, Russia destroyed one of its older satellites in a missile test that provoked worldwide outrage over the space debris it strewn over the Earth’s orbit.
A Chinese satellite (Tsinghua Science Satellite) recently came dangerously close to colliding with one of the several fragments of debris leftover from this Russian anti-satellite missile test.
What is the matter?
With more nations travelling into space with each passing decade, the issue is spiralling out of control, and recent events, such as Russia’s anti-satellite weapons test, are compounding the situation.
The debris is now contributing to the space trash issue and presenting a significant threat to the International Space Station (ISS) and geostationary satellites.
Additionally, the debris poses a risk to the lives of US, Russian, and Chinese astronauts and cosmonauts who are currently in space.
Globally, space debris presents a danger to the continuous use of space-based technology that provides important services such as communication, transportation, weather and climate monitoring, and remote sensing.
Predicting the collision likelihood of these space objects is critical for national security and the safety of Indian public and commercial space assets.
How much amount of debris in space:
The true number of bits of space debris is estimated to be between 500,000 and one million since existing sensor technology is incapable of detecting smaller items. They all fly at rates of up to 17,500 mph (28,162 kmph), which is fast enough for a piece of orbital debris to cause damage to a satellite or spacecraft.
The Project’s Importance:
This project’s output would immediately benefit India’s $7 billion (Rs 51,334 crore) space industry by offering an operationally flexible, scalable, transparent, and indigenous collision probability solution.
Electoral Bonds in India and Concerns
Why in News?
The 19th tranche of electoral bonds, which were marketed as a substitute for monetary contributions, went on sale in advance of the Assembly elections in five states.
Previously, the Supreme Court emphasised the danger of political parties misusing funds acquired via electoral bonds.
This might undermine the intended purpose of these bonds, which was to increase election finance transparency and rein in the criminalization of politics.
Concerning Electoral Bonds:
These bonds are available in denominations of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 10,000, Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 10 lakhs, and Rs. 1 crore, with no upper limit.
The State Bank of India is authorised to issue and redeem these bonds, which have a fifteen-day maturity period.
These bonds are redeemable only via a registered political party’s authorised account.
The bonds are available for purchase by any Indian citizen for 10 days in January, April, July, and October, or as otherwise indicated by the Central Government.
Individuals may purchase bonds either alone or in groups.
The bond does not include the donor’s name.
Concerns Associated with Electoral Bonds:
The Union government amended the Finance Act 2017 to exclude political parties from revealing contributions made via electoral bonds. This implies that voters will be unaware of which person, business, or organisation has contributed to which political party and to what level.
The Indian Supreme Court has long ruled that the “right to know,” particularly in the context of elections, is an inherent aspect of the Indian Constitution’s right to freedom of speech (Article 19).
While electoral bonds do not offer people any information. The aforementioned anonymity does not apply to the current government, which may always get donor information by requesting it from the State Bank of India (SBI).
The electoral bonds concept eliminates all current restrictions on political contributions and permits well-funded firms to finance elections, opening the path for crony capitalism.
RADPFI 2021 New Guidelines
Why in News?
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has changed the 2017 Rural Area Development Plan Formulation and Implementation (RADPFI) guidelines intending to modernise rural India and guarantee rural prosperity.
About the new guidelines:
The RADPFI 2021 guidelines are a continuation of the Ministry’s efforts to promote spatial rural planning and would pave the way for rural transformation by establishing a long-term vision for village planning.
It would allow more efficient land use planning in rural regions and will help improve rural residents’ quality of life.
It comprises Village Planning Schemes (VPSs) similar to those found in metropolitan regions.
Spatial land use planning and spatial standards for Gram Panchayat development are integrated with the Gram Panchayat Development Program (GPDP).
It aims to make village life more comfortable and to contribute to the reduction of migration to large cities by providing the essential infrastructure and amenities, as well as resources and chances for livelihood in rural regions.
It will foster the formation of strong economic clusters in rural regions, therefore contributing to rural areas’ socioeconomic growth.
Additionally, it would complement the Central Government’s initiatives, such as the SVAMITVA Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and the RURBAN Mission of the Ministry of Rural Development, by facilitating improved use of geospatial information.