Maharashtra Monsoon News

No sign of October heat this year as sporadic spells of rain continue over Mumbai
The Indian Express | 7 hours ago | |
The Indian Express
7 hours ago | |

The October heat is known to be a common phenomenon in Maharashtra’s Mumbai city. From the first week of October every year, several areas in the city become uncomfortably hot with the daily temperature rising and ranging between mid 30 to 35 degrees Celsius.However, the scenario is slightly different this year. With sporadic spells of rain still lashing in several parts of the suburban belt and the island city, there does not seem to be a significant rise in temperature even though the first week of October is nearing its end.Mumbai’s maximum temperature is 30 degrees Celsius on Friday morning, while the average maximum temperature during the day last year varied between 33 degrees and 34 degrees Celsius, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).Meanwhile, the scientists and weather experts have attributed the current weather condition to the late withdrawal of monsoon from Mumbai and a low pressure developed in the Bay of Bengal.“Monsoon is still there in Mumbai and there is high rate of moisture presence in the air as well. Therefore, light to moderate rainfall will continue in the island city and suburban belt for the next few days since there is no clear forecast of monsoon retreat anytime now. This is directly affecting the daily temperature and as long as the rains are there an increase in temperature is unlikely,” IMD scientist Sushma Nair told The Indian Express.Nair also maintained that a rise in temperature may take place after the monsoon retreats from Mumbai.“After the monsoon withdrawal happens, the temperature may go up till 33 to 34 degrees Celsius, but this will be short-lived since the north-western part of India will start experiencing drop in daily temperature due to the arrival of winter and this will also affect Mumbai as well,” she said.Mahesh Palawat, the chief meteorologist at Skymet Weather, said the entire western and north-western part of India is experiencing an unusual weather pattern this year, which is not letting the temperature rise during October.“Parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Gujarat are experiencing light to moderate rainfall because of two successive low pressure that have been developed in the Bay of Bengal. There is also a trough seen in the coastal region of Maharashtra. These factors are creating an unusual pattern of rains which is not letting the temperature to rise in Mumbai,” he said.Palawat further said there is a chance of monsoon retreat post October 13.“Light to moderate rainfall will continue in Mumbai till October 12 and Mumbai may experience a slight rise in temperature after October 13,” he added.Meanwhile, the IMD bulletin Friday morning stated the sky will remain cloudy and light to moderate rainfall will continue to lash Mumbai for the next 48 hours. In the past 24 hours, the city has recorded 8.9 mm of rainfall, of which the Santacruz observatory has recorded 1.1 mm of rainfall and the Colaba observatory has recorded 7.8 mm of rainfall.The bulletin stated Mumbai’s relative humidity is 95 per cent.

No sign of October heat this year as sporadic spells of rain continue over Mumbai
  • Maharashtra likely to escape October heat this year
  • Times of India

    PUNE: Maharashtra may escape the typical October heat this year, with Met department's seasonal outlook for the month indicating higher chances of above-normal rainfall and below-normal day temperatures. As per the seasonal outlook for rainfall in October, there is higher probability for above-normal rainfall over central India, including Maharashtra. There is also higher probability for nights to be warmer than usual this month for the state, the seasonal outlook issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated. The amount of post-monsoon rainfall in Maharashtra could be relatively higher during October this year as the monsoon is yet to begin withdrawal from the state, KS Hosalikar, head, Climate Research and Services, IMD Pune, told TOI. Hosalikar said, "We expect some rainfall in Maharashtra after the next few days, with yellow alert being issued parts of the state from October 5-7. However, one thing must be kept in mind that the above-normal rainfall forecast for Maharashtra during October pertains to the average rainfall normally recorded during this month. But the normal values of rainfall during October in Maharashtra are lower than those in the monsoon season. So, any positive deviation from this normal could make the rainfall "above normal"- but it does not signify that rain will be in excessive amounts as seen during the monsoon months." The October normal rainfall for Konkan and Goa is 110.5mm, followed by Madhya Maharashtra (73.3mm), Marathwada (71.7mm), and Vidarbha (57.6mm). On the day temperatures during October, Hosalikar said Pune and other parts of Maharashtra might not see severe heat during the month as monsoon was yet to start retreating from the state. "As rain may cause cloudy skies, the day temperatures are also likely to be lower. When there is a possibility of intermittent rainfall, day temperatures are usually on the lower side due to the presence of cloud mass, which prevents direct penetration of solar radiation towards the surface," he said. Similarly, nights could be relatively warmer as the presence of clouds during the night usually push up minimum temperature.

Changing City: Cable-stayed flyover to improve road connectivity in Mumbai’s western suburbs
The Indian Express | 10 hours ago | |
The Indian Express
10 hours ago | |

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with a project to build a cable-stayed flyover in a bid to improve the road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve regions in the western suburbs of Maharashtra’s Mumbai city.A look at the project: The cable-stayed flyover will connect Versova jetty with Madh island.Location: The bridge will originate from near the Versova jetty and end near the wharf adjoining the Madh island jetty, passing over the Versova Creek.Specifications: The bridge will be 1.5 kilometers long and 27.50 meters wide.Objective: The primary objective of this project is to improve road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve region in the western suburbs, which currently has patches of mangroves, mudflats and creeks between the locations. This bridge is expected to bring down the travel time between Versova and Madh island to 10 minutes. It currently takes at least one hour through SV Road and Link Road. The travel time during peak hours can go as high as two hours.Significance:– This project will improve the road connectivity till the extreme end of the western suburbs. Since there is no direct road network right now, the people are mostly dependent on a ferry service that runs between Versova and Madh.– The bridge will lead to uninterrupted transport system for 365 days. Since the ferry services often become non-operational during monsoon, the people are compelled to take the longer route of travel though bus, taxi or local train via Malad, which increases the travel time by several fold.– The bridge will also play a key role in uplifting the economy of the Madh and Marve area, which mainly houses the fishing community that travels to the fish markets in Andheri and Dadar areas and are mainly dependent on ferries. This bridge will open more travelling options for them, thus creating better connectivity.– With the Mumbai Coastal Road Project (MCRP) coming up and also with the Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project being on pipeline, this flyover will create a smooth corridor for the north-south bound traffic that will be travelling from the extreme end of western suburbs to the island city or vice-versa.Present status:– The BMC had finalised a consultant for this project back in 2020 and recently an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and a survey on the mangroves have been completed.– The BMC had submitted the reports and a proposal for the final alignment of this bridge to the Maharashtra Coastal Zonal Management Authority (MCZMA) for final clearance of this project and is awaiting the clearance.– The civic officials are hopeful that the clearance certificate would come in next two months following which a tender will be floated.Cost: Approximately Rs 400 croreConstruction time: 12 months (excluding the monsoon) after the day of issuing work order.Authority speak: “The project has been in the pipeline for more than a decade and has been deferred for multiple reasons. The flyover will pass through a mangrove zone and coastal area, therefore we have already submitted our proposal to the MCZMA for clearance. They had provided some inputs in the previous application that we had made and have submitted a fresh proposal on the same. After the project gets cleared, tenders will be floated and contractor will be appointed for the project,” said an official from civic bridges department.Citizen speak: “The proposed Versova-Madh bridge is supposed to be a pivotal linkage between Versova and Madh island and with the coastal road nearing its deadline, this bridge is need of the hour. Since, not only it will declutter the traffic movement but also will save time, fuel and money for thousands of Mumbaikars every day,” said Dhaval Shah, a local resident and co-founder of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association (LOCA).

Changing City: Cable-stayed flyover to improve road connectivity in Mumbai’s western suburbs
Moderate rainfall warning for Pune and surrounding areas for next two days
The Indian Express | 18 hours ago | |
The Indian Express
18 hours ago | |

PUNE AND its neighbouring areas will receive moderate rainfall during the next two days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday. Since October 1, the city has received 58.5mm of rainfall.Maharashtra is currently experiencing the influence of cyclonic circulation, which lay over coastal Andhra Pradesh. A trough from this system is running through Telangana, Vidarbha and west Madhya Pradesh extending till Uttar Pradesh.“Due to this cyclonic circulation, moisture-laden winds are being pulled from the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal over Maharashtra. Rainfall activity over Maharashtra will increase during the next two days,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head of the weather forecasting division at IMD, Pune.Rainfall will mostly be seen during the afternoon or evening with one or two intense spells with the potential to cause flash flooding, inundation of roads and windy conditions resulting in the uprooting of trees, the IMD said.Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Dhule, Pune, Nandurbar, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Sangli, Satara, Solapur, Beed and Osmanabad districts will also witness thunderstorms, lightning and rainfall till October 8, the forecast said.Another fresh cyclonic circulation is expected to develop off the Gujarat coast further strengthening the westerly winds blowing in from the Arabian Sea over Maharashtra, Kashyapi added.Meanwhile, the withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon continues to remain slow. As of Thursday, the withdrawal line passed through Uttarkashi, Nazibabad, Agra, Gwalior, Ratlam and Bharuch.Due to the presence of the cyclonic circulation over UP, which remains on ‘red’ alert till Friday any further withdrawal of monsoon is not expected till the weekend. Uttarakhand will receive heavy rainfall during the next four days, according to the forecast.

Moderate rainfall warning for Pune and surrounding areas for next two days
  • Mumbai may continue to experience light to moderate rainfall
  • The Indian Express

    The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Thursday said Maharashtra’s Mumbai city and its suburban belts will see a partly cloudy sky with moderate to light rainfall for the next 48 hours.“Generally cloudy sky with light to moderate rain/thundershower in the city and suburbs,” said the IMD’s 48-hour bulletin Thursday afternoon.The IMD officials said the retreat of monsoon is unlikely in the next two to three days.“There are certain features in the ongoing season which are still favouring the rains. Therefore, Mumbai may continue to experience light to moderate rainfalls in certain areas due to the change in wind patterns. However the rainfall spells will be sporadic and not very intense,” said a scientist from the IMD.The official added the current forecast says retreat may be possible only after October 10.Mumbai experienced light to moderate rains from the early hours of Thursday morning. According to the civic data, the western suburbs recorded 3.6 mm of rainfall Thursday morning, while the island recorded 0.55 mm of rainfall.The temperature will oscillate between 26 to 31 degree Celsius and the relative humidity will be around 85 per cent in Mumbai.

  • IMD: Monsoon retreat may be delayed in Pune, Mumbai
  • Times of India

    Pune: Monsoon may miss its normal exit dates from Pune and Mumbai due to upcoming rainfall activity in parts of the state from October 5 evening.The normal date for monsoon to begin withdrawal from the extreme northern parts of Maharashtra, including areas of Palghar, is around October 5. Normal dates for monsoon withdrawal from Mumbai and Pune are around October 8-9, respectively. Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather forecasting division, IMD, Pune, told TOI that monsoon was yet to start withdrawing from major parts of central India, though withdrawal already started from the northwest and some western parts of the country. “Moisture has depleted over Maharashtra. For the next 48 hours, chances of rain for the state are low. If it rains, it will be in the form of very short spell in the afternoon or evening hours. But, from October 5 evening, chances of rain are likely to increase marginally over north Konkan and adjacent areas of Madhya Maharashtra, including Pune district/city for subsequent 2-3 days. However, these spells will be mainly in the form of thundery activity in the afternoon or evening hours,” Kashyapi said.He said after the upcoming spell, the withdrawal might commence from the northern parts of Maharashtra.

  • Pune to see few more rain spells with monsoon set to withdraw by mid-Oct: IMD
  • The Indian Express

    Pune city will receive a few final rain spells as the southwest monsoon is most likely to start withdrawing from Maharashtra by the end of this week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said. The withdrawal from Pune and adjoining areas in Madhya Maharashtra is expected by mid-October.On Monday, IMD Pune officials said mostly clear sky conditions will dominate the local weather and the maximum temperatures would hover around 31 degrees Celsius.“Moisture presence over Maharashtra has reduced significantly and hence the chances of rainfall are minimal on Monday and Tuesday,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head of the IMD’s weather forecasting division in Pune.However, some rainfall spells of light to moderate intensity (15.5mm to 64.4mm in 24-hour periods) are likely during the October 6-8 period.By the middle of this week, the present cyclonic circulation formed in the northeast Bay of Bengal would have crossed over to land. Under its influence, there is, once again, a chance for an increase in moisture levels mostly in northern Maharashtra and Vidarbha resulting in thunderstorms, lightning and rains.During the recently concluded monsoon season, Pune city received 817.4mm, which was about 35 per cent above the seasonal average.

  • No respite in sight: Pune to get light to moderate rainfall till October 8
  • Times of India

    PUNE: Rainfall activity over the city will continue at least till October 8, with day temperatures hovering around 30 degrees celsius to 31 degrees celsius and thunderstorms in the evening hours, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD). IMD officials said on Sunday that the city is likely to get light rainfall from Monday to Wednesday. It will then intensity over the next two days. From October 8, it will again reduce to light rainfall. On Sunday, due to the clear sky conditions since the morning, the day temperature increased, with both Shivajinagar and Lohegaon observatories recording 31.3 degrees celsius, which was above normal by 0.7 degrees celsius and 0.3 degrees celsius, respectively. The city did not record rainfall from 8.30am to 8.30pm on Sunday. "The latest satellite observations on Sunday afternoon indicate a possibility of development of thunder clouds over ghat areas of Maharashtra. The scattered type clouds observations over South Peninsula, too," said a senior Met official. IMD officials said October is likely to get above normal showers as per the latest long-range forecast for rainfall during the post-monsoon season of 2022. "Vidarbha, Marathwada and some areas of Northern Central Maharashtra are likely to get more than normal rainfall this month. Similar weather conditions may prevail over the southern part of Central Maharashtra in the coming days," the official added. The withdrawal line of Southwest Monsoon continues to pass through Jammu, Una, Chandigarh, Karnal, Baghpat, Delhi, Alwar, Jodhpur and Nalia.

  • Pune: Short, intense rain spell fells trees, chokes roads, slows traffic; 1 dead
  • Times of India

    PUNE: Several trees fell and almost all arterial roads were waterlogged after a sharp spell of rain and thunderstorm battered the city for an hour from 4.15pm on Friday. Citizens ran for cover as the light drizzle quickly battered down as convective rain. Gusty winds of 30-40kmph broke off branches of trees which littered the roads and reduced traffic to a single-file crawl. An autorickshaw driver died when a huge peepal tree fell on his vehicle at Yerawada. Many vehicles broke down on the waterlogged roads, leading to massive snarls. The fire brigade received nearly 70 calls about trees falling from across the city and over 100 complaints about waterlogging. IMD's Shivajinagar observatory recorded 35.1mm rainfall and Pashan and Lohegaon 7.2mm and 9.2mm respectively. One or two intense spells of rain are likely till Monday. Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather forecasting division, IMD, Pune, said that parts of Maharashtra are under the influence of two wind regimes - one being the easterly winds which are moist in nature and are blowing from the Bay of Bengal off coastal Andhra Pradesh. At the same time, northwesterly/westerly winds are blowing over the state from the Arabian Sea. When there is day-time high temperature, under the influence of moist winds, it can lead to local instability. The skies are sunny during the day time for the last couple of days in the presence of significant moisture incursion. This can also lead to the formation of cumulonimbus or thunder clouds. Rain from such clouds is usually intense and occurs for a short duration, he said. Kashyapi said that dams are almost full. "The moderately intense to intense spells in the next couple of days can uproot more trees. There is also a huge threat of waterlogging and temporary floods due to release of water from reservoirs, inundation and stagnation in low-lying areas. Weak houses and bridges are highly vulnerable. With roads partially damaged and ridden with potholes, people must avoid driving during intense spells of rain which can reduce visibility on road, he added.

Rainy week ahead for central, NE regions: IMD
The Indian Express | 4 days ago | |
The Indian Express
4 days ago | |

Uttarakhand, central, and northeast regions are bracing for heavy rainfall starting Tuesday.India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said on Sunday that in view of an approaching synoptic (rain bearing) system formed in the Bay of Bengal rainfall will continue over Odisha, Jharkhand, and Gangetic West Bengal till October 4.On Sunday, a cyclonic circulation formed in the northeast Bay of Bengal and this system is expected to merge with the existing cyclonic circulation located close to Andhra Pradesh coast.“As this merged system is likely to move westwards and recurve over to northeast Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, isolated moderate to heavy rainfall is likely over these states till October 7,” officials from IMD, Delhi, said.An enhanced rainfall is also likely to occur over northeast India regions till Tuesday.The withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon will be delayed in view of this cyclonic circulation reaching central India. As on Sunday, the monsoon withdrawal line passed through Jammu, Una, Chandigarh, Karnal, Baghpat, Delhi, Alwar, Jodhpur, and Nalia.‘Above normal rainfall over Maha in October’The IMD has forecast normal or above rainfall over most parts of Maharashtra in October. Thunder, lightning, and intense rainfall will be associated with the withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon.The increased rainfall in this month will primarily be realised over Vidarbha, southern Goa and Marathwada regions. Between June and September, Maharashtra received 1219 mm rainfall which was quantitatively 23 per cent above the seasonal normal. During this month, the maximum temperatures are likely to remain below normal.

Rainy week ahead for central, NE regions: IMD
23 lakh hectares crops damaged in Maharashtra monsoon
Times of India | 5 days ago | |
Times of India
5 days ago | |

PUNE: Kharif and fruit/vegetable crops over 23.19 lakh hectares were damaged due to intense and sharp rainfall spells in the June-September monsoon period across Maharashtra this year, data from the state agriculture department revealed on Saturday. At over 18.21 lakh hectares, the maximum destruction occurred during the month of July, which recorded several heavy rain events, the data showed. Convective showers are unlike monsoon rain, though they can occur during the monsoon season. Convective rain is usually accompanied with thunder/lightning, and the resulting spells are short and intense, the reason why they can do maximum damage. "Crops, such as maize, cotton, mung, soybean, bajra, sugar cane, paddy, veggies and fruits, have suffered damage due to such rain, but the maximum impact has been on soybean and cotton crop, which is likely to bring down their yield this season," a state agriculture department official told TOI. "Total sown area for kharif is 1.41 crore hectares in Maharashtra. Districts of Vidarbha, such as Amravati, Nagpur, Wardha and Nanded, have been worst affected. Reason for the extensive damage is intense and high quantum rainfall in a very short span of time. As per preliminary estimates, cotton and soybean crops have been destroyed in almost 18-19 lakh hectares, thus, suffering the maximum damage. This may ultimately affect the yield of these crops by about 10-15%," another official from the state agriculture department said. Sangeeta Shroff, agriculture expert from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, and in charge of the Agro-Economic Research Centre of the institute, told TOI, "The intense rainfall spells are not only causing damage to crops in the monsoon, but also in the month of November. With monsoon rainfall being optimum in Maharashtra over the last 3-4 years, it has been noticed that many farmer suicides in Marathwada in the recent years are being attributed to intense rainfall events that can damage many hectares of harvestable crops. Ironically, this happened more often in drought years in the past."

23 lakh hectares crops damaged in Maharashtra monsoon
Mumbai: Most complaints on potholes came from Andheri belt
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

MUMBAI: The BMC's report on potholes this monsoon shows that the maximum complaints have come from the Andheri-Malad belt. The respective wards are K-East (Andheri-East, Jogeshwari), P North (Malad) and K west (Andheri-west). Of 34,392 pothole complaints received by the BMC, K-East ward accounted for 2,963, P-North 2,709 and K-West 2,432. Overall, the western suburbs accounted for 16,170 complaints, the island city 10.337, and the eastern suburbs 7.885. The report, 'Towards Pothole-Free Mumbai: An Action Plan', was presented to the Bombay high court. Bad roads in Mumbai have been one of the biggest pain points of motorists this monsoon being no different. BJP leader Vinod Mishra said the condition of most roads is poor. "The riding quality is beyond satisfactory and now even if BMC is planning to go in for concretization of all roads, it is mandatory that a duct provision is made in these stretches so that the road is not dug up again for laying of utility lines," said Mishra, adding that BMC should appoint a nodal officer who will coordinate with utility agencies and list out requirements. In the report, BMC listed over 20 worst roads in the city and the improvement plans it has for them. The list of worst roads includes: Vasantrao Naik Marg, Gowalia Tank; TJ Road, Sewri; T B Kadam Marg, Chinchpoki; Shivaji Nagar Road, Govandi; Aarey Road and Sonapur Lane. Congress leader from Bandra Asif Zakaria said that in his locality, the condition of roads is so pathetic that there's a huge outcry among the public. "Many of the roads in Bandra were done in asphalt or paver blocks and almost all of these are giving way today. Now the BMC is claiming that they will redo these roads. This is nothing but a repeated waste of public money," he said. Zakaria added that BMC is also planning to resurface roads under its Mumbai beautification plan but just resurfacing of the top layer is unlikely to help in an improvement of riding quality.

Mumbai: Most complaints on potholes came from Andheri belt
Maharashtra sub-divisions get more than September rain quota; more showers from today
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

PUNE: All sub-divisions in Maharashtra have received more than their normal quota of September rain till now. Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed that Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan and Vidarbha have got 30% to 45% more rainfall than their respective average share for the month. The IMD has also forecast an increase in rainfall across the state from Thursday, with the momentum set to go up for 3-4 days from Friday. It issued a "yellow" alert for some places in Maharashtra and expects thundershowers and lightning, along with momentarily strong and gusty winds, during the next few days in the state, especially in Konkan and Goa, and Madhya Maharashtra. During the next three days, till September-end, Maharashtra is likely to get more rainfall due to a system approaching the state from the west-northwestward direction. This will be the fourth consecutive year since 2019 when Maharashtra will end up with an above-normal monsoon season. The normal monsoon rainfall in Maharashtra from June to September is 1,004.2mm. During the last three years till 2021, the state had received between 1,176 mm and 1,360 mm rainfall during the monsoon season. The 2022 monsoon is also likely to end up with excess rain all over the state. From September 1 to 28, Maharashtra has received over 50% more rainfall than its normal September quota. The normal quota for Maharashtra from September 1-28 is 172.5 mm and it received 259.5 mm. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed that most districts in Maharashtra have received 25% to 35% more rainfall than they get normally during the entire rainy season - from June to September. The normal rain for Madhya Maharashtra is 156.3 mm during entire September, while the subdivision has received 226.5 mm during the 28 days of the month. The normal September rainfall for Konkan and Goa is 358.5 mm, while the subdivision has so far received 523.2mm. Similarly, Vidarbha has received 243.6 mm of rain as against its September normal of 158.8 mm. Anupam Kashyapi, head of the weather forecasting division, IMD, Pune, told TOI, "During many periods in July, August and September, we had consecutive low pressure systems over the Bay of Bengal. The movement of the systems was favourable and aided rainfall over parts of central India as well as Maharashtra. Movement of many systems was westward or west-northwestward. This also helped the monsoon trough shift to the South of its normal position. When the monsoon trough shifts south of its normal position, it is favourable for good rainfall over Maharashtra." The favourable systems over the Bay of Bengal were also accompanied with the strengthening of the westerly winds from the Arabian Sea many times during the season. He said, "With the strengthening of the westerlies now and then, more moisture transport occurred over Konkan and Goa as well as Madhya Maharashtra. This resulted in some heavy to very heavy spells in the state along with thunder and lightning." Kashyapi said, "After the next 24 hours, parts of Konkan, Madhya Maharashtra and southern parts of Marathwada are likely to see active monsoon conditions. An upper air cyclonic circulation is present over the west central Bay of Bengal off Andhra Pradesh coast. From this system, an east-west trough runs from the Andaman Sea to the Andhra Pradesh coast." He said, "At the same time, a cyclonic circulation is likely to emerge into north-east and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal around October 1. Due to these systems, monsoon may become active in Maharashtra for a couple or more days from September 30." The IMD has forecast light to moderate rain associated with thundershowers during the next 4-5 days in parts of Maharashtra. Some of these spells could be moderate to intense and suitable warnings would be issued by the IMD in the coming days. "The low-lying areas may especially have to take precautions, as the dams are already full. Pune city may also get some convective rain in the coming days, especially during afternoon and evening hours. There are chances of waterlogging due to moderate to intense spells of rain on some days. Metro and road digging works in some areas, as well as the potholes on roads may aggravate the problem and cause inconvenience to commuters during intense rain spells," Kashyapi said.

Maharashtra sub-divisions get more than September rain quota; more showers from today
Rs 500 crore from beautification project to be used to resurface 200 km Mumbai roads
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

MUMBAI: The BMC will spend Rs 500 crore from its Mumbai beautification project to resurface 200km of roads in the city. The project, which was announced last week, is the brainchild of chief minister Eknath Shinde. While the estimated cost of the entire beautification project is Rs 1,705 crore of which every ward will get a minimum of Rs 15 crore for coming up with plans to beautify their respective areas in the form of improving road dividers, traffic islands, illumination of popular junctions and improvement of footpaths, another component of the project will be the resurfacing of roads for which tenders are still to be floated. Additional municipal commissioner P Velrasu, who is in charge of the roads department, said the civic body will be calling for short tenders. TimesViewOver the years, thousands of crores of rupees have been sunk by the BMC in road repairs and resurfacing and concreting. And yet,motorists continue to confront monster potholes and damaged roads. This monsoon was especially bad. Unless there is accountability, responsibility fixed and road quality assured, pumping more money into the city’s roads will be meaningless."Of the total road network of 2,050 km, about 1,000km are already concretised while we had issued work orders for another 200km earlier this year. Besides, for another 400km of cement concretisation of roads too tenders have already gone live. We now plan to take up works for resurfacing of approximately 200km of roads. We are short-listing the roads which will be taken up. These will include those whose only top layer need to be resurfaced. Roads that have been damaged till the bottom layer will not be taken up for works now. We will undertake complete repairs on them in the future," Velrasu said. Mastic asphalt will be used to resurface roads that will be taken up for repairs and the work is expected to be completed before the next monsoon, officials said. However, it is also pertinent to note that with the upcoming civic elections and bad roads being one of the biggest pain points for Mumbaikars, the entire project looks to have been set rolling. The BMC has set a target of cement concretisation of the entire road network. So it is likely that even these 200km roads will be take up for concretisation.

Rs 500 crore from beautification project to be used to resurface 200 km Mumbai roads
Maharashtra: With 8 rocky tide pools, researchers find biodiversity haven along Konkan
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

MUMBAI: For the first time, the Konkan coastline has unveiled to researchers a world of unusual species and offered Maharashtra huge prospects for ecotourism. Eight locations along coastal Maharashtra - three in Sindhudurg district (Tambeldeg, Kunkeshwar and Bhogwe), and five in Ratnagiri district (Katghar, Hedvi, Kharviwada, Velas and Velneshwar) - have the potential for coastal tide pool tourism as a livelihood options for the local communities, reveal biodiversity researchers attached to The Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra, which has funded this study. Such a survey was never conducted before, reveal experts. "The intertidal zone of rocky coasts is home to some amazing formations, including intertidal rock pools (also known as tide pools), which serve as microhabitats for numerous coastal creatures. The rocky coast has the highest density of macroorganisms compared to other intertidal shores, as well as the greatest diversity of animal and plant species. Numerous marine creatures use the tide pools as refuge, food sources, and nursery grounds," said a detailed note issued by the foundation. The study was conducted by the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) under its Small Grants Programme. The study, 'Documentation of Fauna from Tide Pool Ecosystems along the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg Coast, Maharashtra', led by Goldin Quadros, Shirish Manchi and Siddhesh Bhave, has found a wide range of sea creatures with a total of 303 coastal species across these tide pools. This includes 30 seaweed and algae species, 80 phytoplankton species, 73 zooplankton species, 90 species of megafauna, both vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes) and invertebrates (crustaceans, echinoderms, annelids, amphipods among others), as well as 30 bird species, across the two coastal Konkan districts covering 288km, the study reveals. Researchers surveyed 45 rocky coastal areas and selected 25 locations with a continuous 500-metre long rocky coastline for this study. More rocky intertidal areas were documented in Ratnagiri than in the Sindhudurg district. The survey was done during three seasons - pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon. All the rocky tide pools in Sindhudurg district had good species diversity, with maximum species recorded at Kunkeshwar and minimum at Girye Ghari pools, the study found. In Ratnagiri district, maximum species diversity was recorded at Velas (also famous for the Turtle festival) and minimum observed at Gaokhadi rocky tide pools. "The ecosystems in rocky tide pools are significant because they support a wide range of biodiversity. These pools can soon provide food security, in addition to serving as nursery for a range of species. The coastal youth can have a means of subsistence if they have a grasp of ecosystem diversity, functions, and values," said Goldin Quadros, principal scientist at SACON and author of the study.

Maharashtra: With 8 rocky tide pools, researchers find biodiversity haven along Konkan
  • Researchers discover 8 ‘rocky tide pool’ eco-tourism spots along Konkan coast
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: For the first time, the Konkan coastline has unveiled to researchers a world of unusual species and offered Maharashtra a wealth that has huge ecotourism prospects. Eight locations along the coastal Maharashtra - three in Sindhudurg district namely Tambeldeg, Kunkeshwar and Bhogwe while five locations in Ratnagiri district including Katghar, Hedvi, Kharviwada, Velas and Velneshwar - have the potential for coastal tide pool tourism as a livelihood options for the local communities, reveal biodiversity researchers attached to The Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra which has funded this study. Such a survey was never conducted before, experts claim. "The intertidal zone of rocky coasts is home to some amazing formations, including intertidal rock pools (also known as tide pools), which serve as microhabitats for numerous coastal creatures. The rocky coast has the highest density of macroorganisms compared to other intertidal shores, as well as the greatest diversity of animal and plant species. Numerous marine creatures use the tide pools as refuge, food sources, and nursery grounds," a detailed note issued by the foundation said. The study was conducted by the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) under its Small Grants Programme. The study - Documentation of fauna from tide pool ecosystems along the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg Coast, Maharashtra - led by Goldin Quadros, Shirish Manchi and Siddhesh Bhave has found a wide range of sea creatures with 303 coastal species overall across these rocky tide pools. This included 30 seaweed and algae species, 80 phytoplankton species, 73 zooplankton species, 90 species of megafauna, both vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes) and invertebrates (crustaceans, echinoderms, annelids, amphipods among others), as well as 30 bird species, across the two coastal Konkan districts covering 288 km, the study says. Researchers surveyed 45 rocky coastal areas and selected 25 locations with a continuous 500-metre long rocky coastline for this study. More rocky intertidal areas were documented in Ratnagiri than in the Sindhudurg district. The survey was done during three seasons - pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon. All the rocky tide pools inSindhudurg district had good species diversity, with maximum species recorded at Kunkeshwar and minimum at Girye Ghari pools, the study found. In Ratnagiri district, maximum species diversity was recorded at Velas (also famous for the Turtle festival) and minimum observed at Gaokhadi rocky tide pools. “The ecosystems in rocky tide pools are significant because they support a wide range of biodiversity. These pools can soon provide food security, in addition to serving as nursery for a range of species. The coastal youth can have a means of subsistence if they have a grasp of ecosystem diversity, functions, and values,” said Goldin Quadros, principal scientist at SACON and author of the study. Virendra Tiwari, additional principal chief conservator of forest, Mangrove Cell and Executive Director, Mangrove Foundation shared that the goal was to systematically catalogue the rocky tide pools and pinpoint the region's rich biodiversity, which has shown this area's potential for extensive tourism. “While this study was thought of from the point of view to assess biodiversity, the results of this study went a step ahead to show the emergence of ecotourism opportunities. With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly apparent, all of this also has the potential to reduce the loss of ocean biodiversity, provide bio remedial treatments to clean up some areas of the ocean, and provide local fishing communities with a new source of income,” he said. Tiwari said there has been relatively little tide pool research in India compared to other countries. As part of the ecotourism plan for these areas, the Mangrove Cell and Foundation are now planning to introduce tidepooling - an outdoor activity along the shoreline during low tide to view this previously hidden biodiversity and ecosystem at such rocky intertidal zones. “We are assessing the feasibility of introducing this activity across these eight locations by involving the local community, and further plans are being developed for this based on the study,” he added.

  • Maharashtra forest department identifies 8 spots for coastal tide pool tourism
  • The Indian Express

    The Mangrove Protection Cell of the state forest department has identified eight locations along coastal Maharashtra — three in Sindhudurg district and five in Ratnagiri district — which have the potential for coastal tide pool tourism as a livelihood option for the local communities.The places the department identified in Sindhudurg are Tambeldeg, Kunkeshwar and Bhogwe while in Ratnagiri it has identified Katghar, Hedvi, Kharviwada, Velas and Velneshwar as probable locations.The intertidal zone of rocky coasts is home to some amazing formations, including intertidal rock pools (also known as tide pools), which serve as microhabitats for numerous coastal creatures. The rocky coast has the highest density of macroorganisms compared to other intertidal shores, as well as the greatest diversity of animal and plant species. Numerous marine creatures use the tide pools as refuge, food sources and nursery grounds, a press note of the state mangrove protection cell said.The locations were identified after the Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra funded a study by the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) under its Small Grants Programme.The study — Documentation of fauna from tide pool ecosystems along the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg Coast, Maharashtra — was led by Goldin Quadros, Shirish Manchi and Siddhesh Bhave. “The study found a wide range of sea creatures with 303 coastal species across these rocky tide pools. This included 30 seaweed and algae species, 80 phytoplankton species, 73 zooplankton species, 90 species of megafauna, both vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes) and invertebrates (crustaceans, echinoderms, annelids, amphipods among others), as well as 30 bird species, across the two coastal Konkan districts covering 288 km,” a statement from the department read.“The ecosystems in the rocky tide pools are significant because they support a wide range of biodiversity. These pools can soon provide food security, in addition to serving as nursery for a range of species. The coastal youths can have a means of subsistence if they have a grasp of ecosystem diversity, functions, and values,” said Goldin Quadros, Principal Scientist at SACON and the author of the study.Virendra Tiwari, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Mangrove Cell and Executive Director, Mangrove Foundation shared that the goal was to systematically catalogue the rocky tide pools and pinpoint the region, rich biodiversity, which has shown this areas potential for extensive tourism.He added, “While this study was thought of from the point of view to assess biodiversity, the results of this study went a step ahead to show the emergence of ecotourism opportunities. With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly apparent, all of this also has the potential to reduce the loss of ocean biodiversity, provide bio remedial treatments to clean up some areas of the ocean, and provide local fishing communities with a new source of income.”Tiwari added that there has been relatively little tide pool research in India compared to other countries. As a part of the ecotourism plan for these areas, the Mangrove Cell and Foundation is now planning to introduce tidepooling — an outdoor activity along the shoreline during low tide to view this previously hidden biodiversity and ecosystem at such rocky intertidal zones.“We are assessing the feasibility of introducing this activity across these eight locations by involving the local community, and further plans are being developed for this based on the study,” Tiwari said.Researchers surveyed 45 rocky coastal areas and selected 25 locations with a continuous 500-metre-long rocky coastline for the study. More rocky intertidal areas were documented in Ratnagiri than in the Sindhudurg district. The survey was done during three seasons — pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon. All the rocky tide pools in Sindhudurg district had good species diversity, with maximum species recorded at Kunkeshwar and minimum at Girye Ghari pools, the study found. In Ratnagiri district, maximum species diversity was recorded at Velas (also famous for the Turtle festival) and minimum observed at Gaokhadi rocky tide pools.

Cabinet expansion likely to be announced soon, say sources
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | |
The Indian Express
1 week ago | |

Despite assurances from both Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the second expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet is yet to scheduled with sources indicating it might take place after Navratri.“Both Shinde and Fadnavis will decide on the expansion. A decision will be announced soon,” a BJP minister said, confirming that state leaders are unaware about any plan.Kiran Pawaskar, spokesperson of Shinde’s Shiv Sena, said the Chief Minister will soon announce the expansion date.According to sources, while a rejig of the existing distribution of cabinet responsibility is on the cards, Shiv Sena’s Shinde camp is likely to demand more portfolios concerned with rural Maharashtra.Local body polls will be announced post-monsoon and leaders from areas electorally important to both parties are likely to get preference in the Cabinet expansion. As a result, the Shinde camp, which presently has only Abdul Sattar as agriculture minister and Sandipan Bhumre as horticulture minister, is seeking more departments concerned with rural Maharashtra. The BJP controls the rural development, public works and irrigation departments.The first Cabinet expansion after the swearing-in of Shinde and Fadnavis on June 30 took place on August 9 when 18 cabinet ministers were sworn in. Shinde and Fadnavis had said the next expansion would be held after the completion of the monsoon session of the state legislature.

Cabinet expansion likely to be announced soon, say sources
Dengue fever: Why do you need to stick to Paracetamol? Painkillers increase the risk of internal bleeding and affect the liver
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | |

There has been an increasing trend in dengue cases across the country with the disease map now spreading pan-India, way up to Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, there is no State or Union Territory left with zero cases. According to data from the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP) till August end, there have been more than 30,627 cases and 12 deaths. Karnataka (5,392) Maharashtra (2,927)and Kerala (2,007) have the maximum cases. The new additions in the dengue map are Jammu and Kashmir (96) and Nagaland (two). In 2021, there were 1.93 lakh dengue cases and 346 deaths across the country while 2020 had seen a dip, probably because the focus was on treating COVID 19. What’s worrisome this year is the emergence of unusual symptoms in focal areas, resulting in a quick descent to dengue haemorrhagic fever.WHAT ARE UNUSUAL SYMPTOMS THIS YEAR?This year, there have been some patients with complications. In Delhi, where cases have surged over the last two weeks, people are coming to hospitals with internal bleeding, shock (sudden drop in blood pressure) and liver complications. Dr Rommel Tickoo, Director of Internal Medicine, Max Healthcare, said, “Although the numbers are not as high as what Delhi saw in 2015 and 2016, we are seeing more people with complicated dengue. Those with liver involvement show symptoms of jaundice, but these cases are self-limiting.”Some patients in Maharashtra have reported severe complications. According to Dr Sanjay Pujari, infectious diseases expert, we should be worried if the rate of complications is higher than previous years. Dr Rajesh Gadia, consulting physician at KEM hospital, who has been involved in the management of dengue viral fever for over two decades, says that largely cases have a mild presentation. However complications can occur due to the prevalent serotype and in some cases, which are mainly from Baramati and Phaltan, patients have come in with shock and fluid in their lungs. “Clinical manifestations vary from undifferentiated fever to florid haemorrhage and shock. The clinical presentations depend on age, immune status of the host and the virus strain,” Dr Gadia noted.Among some of the rare complications are Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which is an inflammatory state that can be triggered by infections or other immune disorders, usually among those with an underlying genetic predisposition. It is not only seen in dengue but other infections as well, Dr Pujari said. “Capillary fluid leak from the blood goes into the interstitial compartment and can lead to fluid accumulation in the lung or abdomen – once the fluid goes into extra blood space, there is a drop in blood pressure and hence shock occurs,” explained Dr Pujari. Which means all the body’s blood cells get affected, causing liver and heart injury, a drop in platelet count, abnormal clotting system, massive drop in blood pressure. This leads to a refractory shock in the patient.A specific rare case of dengue-induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) was spotted in Arush Wandhekar, a four-year-old boy from Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar. His breathing became difficult and his oxygen levels dipped.SEEK HEALTHCARE EARLY“By and large, there is no reason for panic. However, it is extremely important to seek healthcare early,” says Dr Parikshit Prayag, infectious diseases expert at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital. When the hidden dengue virus gets diagnosed at the very end, it inevitably ends up causing other health problems.The onset involves an acute febrile illness between two and seven days, with symptoms like headache, retro-orbital pain, myalgia, arthralgia, rash and haemorrhagic manifestations. These need to be monitored carefully. The phase of febrile illness is one where fever can last for a week after which most people recover. There will be post-viral convalescence and the patient has weakness and fatigue.Given that COVID-19 and dengue are circulating in the city simultaneously, Dr Tickoo warned against people popping any pain-killers without consulting a doctor. “With COVID-19, many people do take painkillers without consulting a doctor, but that can be dangerous if they have dengue. Combiflam and painkillers such as Diclofenac can increase the risk of internal bleeding and affect the liver. Paracetamol is the only medicine they should take for the fever,” said Dr Tickoo.HLH is a life threatening condition and its diagnosis can be challenging because the initial symptoms may mimic other problems such as persistent fevers, rash, enlarged liver, low platelet count and altered mental functions.There are four virus serotypes that are designated as DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. Infection from any one serotype confers lifelong immunity to the virus serotype.WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH RAINFALL PATTERNSWith researchers and studies finding a link between dengue and rainfall patterns, experts like Dr Gadia have cautioned that monsoon and post-monsoon months are crucial for the vulnerable lot. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito has an average adult survival of 15 days. During the rainy season, when survival is longer, the risk of virus transmission is greater. The dengue mosquito is a day time feeder and can fly up to a limited distance of 400 metres. Aedes Aegypti breeds almost entirely in domestic, man-made water receptacles found in and around households, construction sites and factories. Natural larval habitats are tree holes, leaf axils and coconut shells. Unused tyres, flower pots and desert coolers are among the most common domestic breeding sites.

Dengue fever: Why do you need to stick to Paracetamol? Painkillers increase the risk of internal bleeding and affect the liver
Mumbai’s critical Covid cases down to a trickle, experts say end in sight
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

MUMBAI: The count of critical Covid-19 cases in the city dropped to five on Monday, one of the lowest tallies registered in nearly six months. The occupancy of Covid beds dropped under 1% in Mumbai. Covid cases in September fell by four-fifths compared to August. According to the BMC dashboard, just 133 out of 18,513 beds are currently filled up, underscoring the sharp drop in the Covid graph despite lives going back to pre-pandemic normal. The upbeat trends in the city and in the state are broadly in sync with the national and global scene. On Monday, the state reported 292 cases, the lowest in four months, while Mumbai reported less than 100 cases (66), the lowest since May 3. In Maharashtra, about 20 patients are on ventilator of nearly 4,500 active cases. City's Covid cases this month fall 80% over August Five days ago, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world has never been in a better position to end the Covid-19 pandemic. "We are not there yet. But the end is in sight," he said, signalling a clear opportunity to leave the two-and-half-year-long pandemic behind. Local health experts concur that the transmission has dropped in the community. "Covid-19 hospitalisations are rare. Even cases in outpatient departments are rarely seen," said Dr Rahul Pandit, intensivist and a member of the state Covid taskforce. "Respiratory infections overall seem to have come down in the population with monsoon on its way out," he said. Covid cases in September (4,226) have dropped 80% compared to August (20,010). The pandemic virus, in fact, has surged and dropped throughout 2022, which experts called the natural course to endemicity. Driven by the new Omicron variant, Mumbai had recorded 2.6 lakh cases in January and 247 deaths. The incidence dropped to 9,882 in February. March and April were the lean months, recording less than 2,000 cases, respectively. The cases started to rise again in May with nearly 6,000 detections and jumped to 46,690 with the arrival of the monsoon. Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said Covid behaved like other respiratory infections that usually surge during monsoon and winter. "The cases and deaths are down not just in Mumbai but all over the state," he said. Could a drop in testing be responsible for fewer cases on the chart? Dr Awate's answer was "unlikely". Dr Rajesh Karyakarte, Maharashtra's coordinator for genome sequencing, said that while Omicron variants are fast evolving, only a completely new variant can trigger a new wave.

Mumbai’s critical Covid cases down to a trickle, experts say end in sight
UPSC Essentials: Weekly news express with MCQs — From HDR to Unemployment
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | |

The Indian Express’ UPSC weekly news express covers some of the most important topics of current affairs news from this week to help you prepare for UPSC-CSE. Try out the MCQs and check your answers provided towards the end of the article.Human Development reportSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social DevelopmentMains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment, Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the countryWhy in news?—Last week, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released its latest Human Development Report (HDR). Ordinarily, it is enough to look at a country’s score on the Human Development Index (HDI) and compare it to the global average and the score of some other comparable countries. The HDI is a composite of three broad parameters: longevity, education and income per capita.Key takeaways— This year’s HDR is quite different because for the first time in its history — the HDR has been compiled since 1990 — the global HDI value has declined two years in a row, erasing the gains of the preceding five years. And it is not just a matter of the global HDI declining; over 90 per cent of countries experienced a decline in 2020 or 2021.—In 2021, India’s life expectancy at birth was recorded at 67.2 years; expected years of schooling at 11.9 years; mean years of schooling at 6.7 years; and gross national income per capita (2017 PPP) at $6,590. On all these four parameters, India was behind the world averages in 2021: life expectancy at 71.4 years, expected years of schooling at 12.8 years, mean years of schooling at 8.6 years and gross national income per capita (2017 PPP$) at $16,752.—India’s rank on the Human Development Index has slipped from 130 in 2020 to 132 in 2021, in line with a global fall in HDI scores in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, shows the Human Development Report 2021-22 released Thursday.—According to the report, released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), India’s HDI value stood at 0.633 during 2021, which was lower than the world average of 0.732. In 2020, too, India recorded a decline in its HDI value (0.642) in comparison to the pre-Covid level of 2019 (0.645).—Ninety percent of countries have registered a reduction in their Human Development Index value in 2020 or 2021, reversing much of the progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.—A large contributor to the Human Development Index’s recent decline is a global drop in life expectancy, down from 72.8 years in 2019 to 71.4 years in 2021. The last two years have had a devastating impact on billions of people worldwide when crises like Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine hit back-to-back and interacted with sweeping social and economic shifts and dangerous planetary changes.—HDI is composite index that measures average achievement in human development taking into account four indicators: life expectancy at birth (Sustainable Development Goal 3); expected years of schooling (SDG 4.3); mean years of schooling (SDG 4.4); and gross national income (GNI) per capita (2017 PPP$) (SDG 8.5).—Like global trends, in India’s case, the drop in HDI from 0.645 in 2019 to 0.633 in 2021 can be attributed to falling life expectancy — 69.7 to 67.2 years. India’s expected years of schooling stand at 11.9 years, and the mean years of schooling are at 6.7 years. The GNI per capita level is $6,590.—India has also been ranked 122 on the Gender Inequality Index.Point to ponder: The solution to India’s stunted improvement on the Human Development Index is improving access quality education.1. MCQ:With respect to the latest HDR which of the following statement is not truea) India’s rank on the Human Development Index has slipped from 130 in 2020 to 132 in 2021.b) The global HDI value has declined two years in a row, erasing the gains of the preceding five years. c) On three out of all parameters, India was behind the world averages of HDI in 2021.d) Switzerland is ranked 1 with a score of 0.962 in HDIUnemployment rateSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social DevelopmentMain Examination:• General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment• General Studies III: Inclusive growth and issues arising from itWhy in news?—According to the data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s unemployment rate in August rose to 8.3%. This is the highest unemployment rate in the past 12 months (see Table 1). In August 2021, the unemployment rate was 8.35%.Key takeaways—The unemployment rate is essentially the percentage of working-age people (15 years and above) who are demanding work but not able to get a job. Both aspects of the definition are important. To be counted as an unemployed person one has to both “demand” work — that is, be part of the labour force — and then fail to get a job.—As such, the unemployment rate is calculated by looking at the labour force — that is, all the people of the working age who are demanding work — and then finding out what percentage of them are unable to land a job. That percentage is the unemployment rate.—The underlying size of the labour force — that is, the percentage of working-age people demanding work — itself varies over time and is measured by the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR).Unemployment rate = [Total unemployed / Total Labour Force]In other words, unemployment rates are expressed as a percentage of the labour force, not the total population.Why did the employment rate go up in August?—Since the unemployment rate is essentially a ratio between the total unemployed and the total labour force, it can go up whenever the number of unemployed increases more than the increase in the total labour force. Reportedly, in August while the labour force increased by 4 million, the economy instead of creating new jobs, actually shed 2.6 million existing jobs.—In other words, while the total number of unemployed went up by 6.6 million, the labour force only went up by 4 million. Hence the spike in the unemployment rate.—There is a significant variance in the unemployment rate across states. Haryana, J&K and Rajasthan have the highest levels of unemployment rate — each with over 30% of the unemployment rate.—In sharp contrast, there are many states with remarkably low unemployment rates as well. Chhattisgarh, for instance, has an unemployment rate of just 0.4%. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Meghalaya — all have unemployment rates well below 3%.—The unemployment rate is different in rural and urban area. For instance, in August, urban unemployment was 9.6% and rural was 7.7%. Only in two months — February and June — has the rural unemployment rate been higher than the urban unemployment rate.Point to ponder: For a country in the midst of a demographic transition, unemployment is the biggest challenge. Discuss.2.MCQ:Disguised unemployment generally means (UPSC-CSE 2013)(a) large number of people remain unemployed(b) alternative employment is not available(c) marginal productivity of labour is zero(d) productivity of workers is lowThe curbs on India’s rice exportsSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Economic and Social DevelopmentMains Examination: General Studies III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment, Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the countryWhy in news?—The Narendra Modi government, barely four months ago, banned exports of wheat from the country, following an unexpected crop failure resulting in low procurement and depletion of public stocks. Concerns over a similar situation arising have now led it to impose curbs, albeit not outright ban, on rice shipments as well.Key takeaways—There are four categories of rice exports. Out of these, exports in the case of two – basmati rice and parboiled non-basmati rice –are still freely allowed. The curbs are only for the other two: raw (white) and broken non-basmati rice.—On Thursday, the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance notified the slapping of a 20% duty on exports of rice “other than parboiled and basmati rice” with effect from September 9. This would have covered all raw non-basmati rice shipments, whether of full or broken grains. However, on the same night, another notification from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry imposed a blanket ban on broken rice exports. Thus, even within raw non-basmati, only export of full grain consignments would be permitted on payment of 20% duty.—The curbs announced will affect just under half of India’s rice exports in terms of quantity and over a third by value.Reasons for restrictions—There are two basic reasons. The first is the possibility of India’s rice production declining significantly because of deficient monsoon rainfall in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal. During the current kharif cropping season from June 1 to September 9, farmers have planted 2.1 million hectares (mh) less area under rice compared to the same period last year.—The gap was higher, nearly 4.4 mh, till the second week of August. Since the normal planting time for paddy is June-July, and any area covered after that would be of lower-yielding shorter-duration varieties, it is bound to reflect in output. Taking an average all-India rice yield of 2.7 tonnes per hectare, the hit could be in the 6-12 mt range.—It might be even more if yields in Punjab and Haryana turn out lower due to a new virus that has caused “dwarfing” of paddy plants in many fields there.—The second has to do with stocks. Public wheat stocks on August 1, at 26.65 mt, were the lowest in 14 years for this date. While the same for rice, at 40.99 mt, was quite comfortable (albeit lower than the 44.46 mt on August 1, 2021), the government is worried about their depletion in the event of a sub-par kharif harvest. This is more so, given the political pressure to continue the free-foodgrains scheme (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana) beyond September. With very little wheat in government godowns, it is rice that is sustaining the public distribution system (PDS).—The country has a 40% share of the world’s total rice exports, with its 21 mt-plus shipments last year way ahead of Thailand’s (7.2 mt), Vietnam’s (6.6 mt) and Pakistan’s (4.8 mt). India, thus, matters to the global trade in rice – unlike in wheat, where it is only an occasional large exporter . Even in 2021-22, when exports touched an all-time-high of 7.23 mt, its share in world wheat shipments was hardly 5%. India’s wheat export ban, imposed on May 13, made news largely on account of timing – in the midst of the war in Ukraine. In a normal year, it may not have.—More than 75% of basmati exports last year were to Iran and the Arabian Peninsula countries; the US, UK, Canada and Australia added up to another 10%. In non-basmati rice, almost 55% went to African countries – including Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, Guinea, Madagascar, Cameroon, Djibouti, Somalia and Liberia. Another 9.5% each was accounted for by the top two individual buyers China and Bangladesh, followed by Benin and Nepal (8-9% each). Much of exports to Africa and Bangladesh consist of parboiled rice, while China’s imports were predominantly broken rice that has now been banned.Parboiled and broken rice—Rice is derived from milling of paddy grain produced by farmers. Paddy typically has 20-21% husk (the inedible covering of the grain) and 10-11% bran (the brown outer layer of the edible kernel). What remains after removal of the husk and bran is the white raw rice that constitutes 68-69% of paddy. The milled rice, in turn, has both whole and broken grains.—Parboiling is a process where the paddy is soaked in water, steamed and dried while retaining its outer husk. It results in the rice becoming harder with less breakage on milling.—The parboiled rice exported from India contains 5-15% broken grains. In raw rice, the brokens are normally up to 25%. It is the rice having 100% brokens whose exports have been prohibited.—Out of the total 3.89 mt broken rice exports in 2021-22, 1.59 mt went to China, followed by Senegal (0.92 mt), Vietnam (0.34 mt), Djibouti (0.24 mt) and Indonesia (0.21 mt).India’s export of rice—More than 75 percent of basmati exports last year were to Iran and the Arabian Peninsula countries; the US, UK, Canada and Australia added up to another percent. In non-basmati rice, almost 55 percent went to African countries – including Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, Guinea, Madagascar, Cameroon, Djibouti, Somalia and Liberia.—Another 9.5 percenteach was accounted for by the top two individual buyers China and Bangladesh, followed by Benin and Nepal (8-9 percent each). Much of exports to Africa and Bangladesh consist of parboiled rice, while China’s imports were predominantly broken rice that has now been banned.Point to ponder: Due to curbs, will India’s rice exports take a massive hit?3. MCQ:Consider the following statements with respect to agriculural production in India and answer the question below:1. Parboiling results in the rice becoming harder with less breakage on milling.2. India has a 40% share of the world’s total rice exports.Which of the statements is/are correct?a) Only 1b) Only 2c) Both 1 and 2d) Neither 1 nor 2‘Triple dip’ La Nina and its impact on India’s monsoonSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: GeographyMains Examination: General Studies I: Geographical phenomenonsWhy in news?—The Australian Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday (September 13) confirmed the occurrence of La Niña phenomenon for the third consecutive year in the Pacific Ocean. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on August 31 had stated that the oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon would last until at least the end of the year, and for the first time this century, span three consecutive northern hemisphere winters to become a ‘triple dip’ La Nina.—The WMO predicted that the current La Nina, which began in September 2020, would continue for six months, with a 70 per cent chance of lasting till September-November 2022, and 55 per cent chance of lasting till December-February 2022/2023.Key takeaways—El Nino and La Nina, which mean ‘the boy’ and ‘the girl’ in Spanish, are mutually opposite phenomena, during which an abnormal warming or cooling of sea surface temperatures is observed in the Pacific Ocean along the equator, off the coast of South America. Together they constitute what is known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation system, or ENSO for short.—ENSO conditions can alter both temperatures and rainfall globally, due to their strong interference on global atmospheric circulations.—It is a recurring phenomenon and the change in temperature is accompanied by changes in the patterns of upper and lower level winds, sea level pressure, and tropical rainfall across the Pacific Basin.—Normally, El Nino and La Nina occur every four to five years. El Nino is more frequent than La Nina.—El Niño years in India have witnessed extreme heat and below normal rainfall levels during monsoon, even though El Niño might not be the only factor or even have direct links to them. In 2014, a El Niño year, India received 12 per cent deficient rainfall from June to September.—On the other hand, La Nina years are known to favour the Indian summer monsoon. This year, India has received 740.3 mm of rainfall, quantitatively 7 per cent higher than the seasonal average till August 30. Among the 36 states and union territories, 30 have received rainfall that is categorised as either ‘normal,’ ‘excess’ or ‘large excess.’—Uttar Pradesh, Manipur (-44 per cent each), and Bihar (-39 per cent), however, remain the worst affected states this season.—“The continuing La Niña is a good sign for the Indian monsoon. The monsoon rainfall, so far, has been good except in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and neighbouring areas,” M Rajeevan, former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), told The Indian Express earlier.—Rajeevan had termed the continuing La Nina as “abnormal”, and said, “It is surprising that it has continued for the last three years. It may be good for India but not for some other countries.” The former MoES secretary had also noted that “under climate change conditions, one must expect more such instances”.—Climate change could be a driving factor behind such uncommon conditions. El Niño has been associated with rising heatwaves and extreme temperatures, such as in parts of the US, Europe and China recently.—India’s Northeast monsoon rainfall remained subdued during past La Niña events, but the 2021 monsoon remains an exception in recent years, Rajeevan had pointed out. In 2021, the southern Indian peninsula experienced its wettest recorded winter monsoon since 1901, receiving a whopping 171 per cent surplus of rainfall between October and December, IMD data stated.Point to ponder: The continuing La Niña is abnormal but a good sign for the Indian monsoon. It may be good for India but not for some other countries. Do you agree?4. MCQ:a) 1 onlyb) 2 onlyc) both 1 and 2d) neither 1 or 2Answer to the MCQs: 1 (c), 2(c), 3(c), 4(d)

UPSC Essentials: Weekly news express with MCQs — From HDR to Unemployment
Many areas inundated after just 20mm showers; rain relief likely from today
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Pune: Most areas in Pune city recorded less than 20mm rainfall till 8.30am on Friday, but several localities still experienced waterlogging, prompting citizens to tag the civic authorities on social media with complaints. The heavy downpour also resulted in trees falling at 10 spots. But relief is in sight, as top IMD officials told TOI that rain intensity would start reducing from Saturday for a few days.While Shivajinagar recorded just 14.8mm rainfall in the 24 hours (mostly spells in the night) till Friday morning, Pashan got 18.5mm and Chinchwad received 23mm. From 8.30am till 5.30pm on Friday, Shivajinagar recorded another 30.6mm rainfall, while Pashan got 37.6mm, followed by Chinchwad (41mm), Lohegaon (30.3mm) and Magarpatta (21.5mm).Weather experts following Pune rainfall through IMD satellite images told TOI on Friday that those crossing Pune ghats should exercise caution as heavy showers occurred in Pune ghats, Lonavla, Lavasa, Mulshi and Khandala for several hours. A Pune fire brigade official said two cases of short circuit were also reported in the city. “But, no one suffered injuries,” he said.As for the impending rain relief, Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather forecasting division, IMD, Pune, told TOI, “Rainfall intensity is likely to reduce from Saturday as the system that has been causing the rain (in addition to other factors) will move east-northeastwards. Forecasts indicate that a well-marked low-pressure area over central parts of Uttar Pradesh and neighbourhood with associated cyclonic circulation will have moved east-northeastwards till Saturday.”He said the monsoon was vigorously active in Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra on Friday. “The monsoon is likely to be subdued over Maharashtra during the September 18-19 period,” he said.

Many areas inundated after just 20mm showers; rain relief likely from today
UP, Uttarakhand to receive more rainfall on Saturday: IMD
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | |

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of continuing heavy rainfall over Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Saturday. On Friday, extremely heavy rainfall (over 204mm in 24-hours) was recorded at many places in Uttar Pradesh. Fatehpur tehsil (290mm), Ramnagar (270mm) and Haidargarh (210mm) — in Barabanki district — remained among the wettest areas of the country on the day. Lucknow (airport) recorded 160mm of rainfall. Presently, Uttar Pradesh and its neighbourhood areas remain under the influence of a well-marked low-pressure area, which has persisted since Thursday. “As the well-marked low-pressure system has recurved towards UP and will persist there, UP will continue to receive rainfall till Saturday. The rainfall intensity, thereafter, will start reducing from Sunday onwards,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head, weather forecasting division, IMD, Pune. The prevailing low-pressure system is possibly only the second synoptic system (low pressure/depression, etc.) since June to cause rainfall over UP. The season, overall, has seen poor rainfall activity over the state, which remains among the driest in the country. It is yet to receive normal seasonal rainfall this year. As on Friday, UP’s rainfall situation stood at -39 per cent, with the state, so far, receiving 427mm of rainfall.Meanwhile, the Southwest monsoon continues to remain active over large parts of central India, including parts of north Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra, UP, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Currently, there is a trough running between west-central Arabian Sea till the system over UP, which is attracting moist westerly winds from the Arabian Sea landwards, prevails. Besides, the monsoon trough runs to the south of its normal position, all of which are facilitating favourable conditions for the monsoon to remain active-to-vigorous over western-central India regions till the weekend. With IMD’s Extended Range Forecast (ERF) indicating a likely development of a fresh low-pressure system in the west-central Bay of Bengal by September 18, there will be more rainfall over the central India region starting September 20. UP is most likely to benefit during the upcoming spell, as well. “Though UP received good rainfall since Thursday and is expected to receive more rain in the coming week, the existing deficit could be reduced. But it will not be sufficient enough to cover the season’s deficit as the normals are now high,” Medha Khole, senior meteorologist from IMD, Pune, said. This season, UP has consistently maintained a deficit ranging between 40 and 46 per cent, severely crippling its paddy cultivation. Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxWith just over a fortnight remaining for the monsoon season and yet another low-pressure system likely to develop over the Bay of Bengal, its movement and intensity will decide the commencement of the monsoon’s withdrawal. According to the ERF, there is a chance of the monsoon retreating from the extreme northwestern parts of the country towards the last week of September.

UP, Uttarakhand to receive more rainfall on Saturday: IMD
  • Mumbai Rains Latest Update: City Witnesses Heavy Rains, IMD Issues Orange Alert For Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara
  • India

    Mumbai: Mumbai and neighbouring areas on Tuesday experienced heavy rain and the India Meteorological Department ASO predicted more showers in the city in the days come. Apart from this, the IMD issued ‘orange alert’ for Raigad, Ratnagiri and Satara, predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places in the three districts.Also Read - Video: Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc in Andhra's Srikakulam; Highways, Homes Inundated | WatchAs per the updates from the IMD, the weather department’s Santacruz observatory in Mumbai recorded 93.4 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period till 8.30 AM on Tuesday, marking another spell of heavy downpour in the current monsoon season. Also Read - 450 Exhibitors From 32 Countries To Participate In 16th ANUTEC – International FoodTec IndiaOn the other hand, the Colaba observatory recorded 59.2 mm rainfall during the same period. The IMD said moderate showers are expected in Mumbai and high intensity rains in neighbouring Raigad. Also Read - Travel to Vietnam: Vietjet Launches 2 New Routes Connecting Phu Quoc, 'Pearl Island' to Delhi, MumbaiThe weather department issues four colour-coded predictions based on the prevailing weather systems. The green colour indicates no warning, yellow is to keep a watch, orange is to stay alert, while red means a warning and that action needs to be taken.(With inputs from PTI)

  • Mumbai weather: Overcast skies today, moderate rain toward evening likely, says BMC
  • The Indian Express

    Mumbai will witness overcast skies throughout the day Monday and is likely to receive moderate rainfall toward the evening with the possibility of thunderstorms, according to information from the BMC’s disaster management department.On Sunday evening, Mumbai witnessed light to moderate rainfall with thunderstorms and lightning, and gusty winds at the speed of 30 to 40 km, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which has also predicted heavy rainfall for Mumbai throughout the week, until September 15.In the past 24 hours, Mumbai’s Colaba station recorded 55.6 mm of rainfall, and the Santacruz station recorded 2.2 mm, with humidity at 95 per cent and 90 per cent respectively. While the maximum temperature in Mumbai went up to 31 degrees, the minimum temperature was 25 degrees, according to the IMD.Between September 13 and 15, Mumbai city, its suburbs, Konkan, and Goa are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall, according to private weather forecasting agency Skymet. “There are chances of widespread flash floods and water logging over these areas,” said Skymet in a statement Sunday.Rainfall in Mumbai over the week is due to the depression forming over South Odisha which will gradually move in the West Northwest direction, Skymet also said in its statement.“Although it may lose some of its intensity, but it will give moderate to heavy rain over eastern districts of Gujarat as well as over South and East Rajasthan. Usually, the low-pressure area or depression which moves across Centre parts of the country has a pull effect over West Coast leading to increased rain activities over Gujarat, coastal parts of Maharashtra as well as over Karnataka coast,” the statement said.

  • Heavy rainfall in Gujarat for a week, warns IMD
  • The Indian Express

    Gujarat is likely to see heavy rainfall until September 16 as southwest monsoon is expected to be active in the coming week due to systems developed in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, stated an advisory from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Sunday.“The monsoon trough continues to pass through Nalia, Ahmedabad, Brahmapuri, Jagdalpur, the centre of Depression over south coastal Odisha and neighbourhood and thence east, southeastwards to the Eastcentral Bay of Bengal. Also, cyclonic circulation over East Central Arabian Sea off south Maharashtra-Goa coasts is extending above mean sea-level persists,” the IMD stated.Until 6 pm Sunday, 75 talukas recorded rainfall on Sunday. Karjan in Vadodara recorded 41 mm, followed by Umerpada (37 mm) in Surat. Other areas that recorded heavy rainfall include Subir in Dang, Sinor in Vadodara, Palanpur in Banaskantha, Jotana in Mehsana and Dahod.Parts of Ahmedabad city also recorded heavy rainfall between 4 pm and 7 pm with an average rainfall of 23 mm. Water logging due to heavy rainfall in the areas of Paldi in the west zone that recorded 55 mm.On Monday, heavy to very heavy rain is expected in the districts of Saurashtra, namely Rajkot and Morbi, heavy rains at isolated places in the districts of Kheda, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Anand, Narmada, Bharuch Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Tapi and in Jamnagar, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Dwarka and Gir Somnath.Also, light thunderstorms with lightning and surface wind less than 40 kmph (in gust) accompanied by light to moderate rain is very likely across the state Monday and Tuesday.The IMD has cautioned against heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places in the districts of South Gujarat, namely Narmada and Surat for Tuesday.Further, “heavy rain at isolated places is very likely in the districts of South Gujarat region namely Vadodara, Bharuch Navsari, Valsad and Tapi; in the districts of Saurashtra namely Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar,” Tuesday.On September 14, heavy to very heavy rain is expected in Vadodara and Chhota Udepur along with heavy rain Kheda, Ahmedabad, Anand, Panchmahal, Dahod and Mahisagar and in Saurashtra districts of Surendranagar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Botad.

  • Heavy Rains Lash Pune; Waterlogging, Traffic Woes Irk Residents. IMD Issues Orange Alert For 2 Days
  • India

    Pune: Heavy rains lashed Pune city and adjoining areas on Sunday, leading to severe water-logging in many parts. The traffic came to a standstill and several vehicles were seen submerged as the roads turned into rivers. Several houses, shops and other establishments were inundated as well. Tree fall incidents took place in 10 places, though there were no reports of any person getting injured.Also Read - Monsoon Gets Active Again In Rajasthan, 13 Districts Including Jaipur Receive Heavy RainsThe cloud burst has caused water logging across my #Pune. Any citizens who need help please feel free to reach out ! We at the Poonawalla Foundation will try & help along with the administration.We are all there for you!! #punerains together in this . @mvadera #PuneRain— Tehseen Poonawalla Official 🇮🇳 (@tehseenp) September 11, 2022 Also Read - Maharashtra Weather Update: IMD Predicts Heavy Rains, Issues Yellow Alert For Mumbai, Other Areas“Chandannagar, Kothrud, Paud Road, Pashan, Wanwadi, B T Kawade Road, Katraj garden, Swargate witnessed water logging. Tree fall incidents were reported from Pashan, Kondhwa, Pune station and Yerwada. In Panchawati in Pashan, two vehicles were trapped after a tree fell. No one was injured in the incident,” a fire brigade official said. Also Read - Bengaluru Floods: Waterlogged Roads Force IT Employees To Commute Via Tractor To Reach Work | VideoTraffic woes.. #PunePolice #Pune #Punerain #punecity #rains #Traffic #TrafficAlert @TOIPune @PunePolice4U @vineet_tropmet @Hosalikar_KS @PMCPune @PuneTimesOnline pic.twitter.com/dWkHGxe6yZ— PavanGudee (@PGudee) September 11, 2022The India Meteorological Department said, as of 5:30pm, Pashan and Magarpatta had received 55.8 millimetres and 55.5 millimetres of rainfall. The IMD has issued an ‘orange’ alert for heavy to very heavy rainfall in Ghat areas over the next two days, an official said.This is freaking dangerous #Ramnadi #Bavdhan #PuneRainStay safe guys pic.twitter.com/JFAgmsBxT2— Curly Jeevi (@curlykrazy07) September 11, 2022Several other users took to Twitter to share the plight of the rain-ravaged city. Take a look here:Koregaon Park Lane 7 chowk after 2 hours of rain.. Sad state of our drainage & roads in Pune.@PMCPune @mohol_murlidhar #Pune #puneroads #monsoons pic.twitter.com/5jreFQhgsx— Aarish Bhathena (@aarish95) September 11, 2022Heavy #Rainfall in #Pune#Rainfall so far#WadgaonSheri 112.0mm#Magarpatta 96.5mm#Pashan 83.0mm#Yerwada 76.0mmVisuals from #Paud#PuneRains #PuneRain pic.twitter.com/nMfzSPnP80— Weatherman Shubham (@shubhamtorres09) September 11, 2022This is Rain water logging near pancard clubroad road dhankude wasti baner pune -411045.In front of supreme pallacio co-op housing society. @PMCPune . Please look kn it asap. pic.twitter.com/TPenqL5ZEM— Mahadeo kale (@Mahadeokale5) September 11, 2022

  • Maharashtra sees two rain-related deaths in 24 hours; CM Eknath Shinde asks officials to be on alert
  • Times of India

    MUMBAI: Two deaths have been reported in the state in rain-related incidents in the last 24 hours, one each in Pune and Wardha. With the meteorological department forecasting that heavy rains will intensify in large parts of the state over the next 4-5 days, chief minister Eknath Shinde has asked the district administration to be on alert to react to any emergency. The meteorological department has forecast heavy rains in the state, mainly in the Konkan, Western Maharashtra, North Maharashtra and Vidarbha regions. Shinde said that the NDRF and other rescue teams should be placed on alert. On Wednesday, the state experienced cloudbursts in several districts including Pune, Satara, Raigad, Nasik and Ahmednagar. Shinde said that an estimate of rain damage will be conducted by the district administration in order for citizens to receive compensation. Shinde has asked chief secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava to stay in touch with the district administration and take stock of the damage as well as the help provided. Four additional NDRF and two additional SDRF teams have been deployed in the state. Since the beginning of the monsoon in June, 307 people have lost their lives and 108 people have been injured. So far, 20,866 people have been evacuated and 5,786 animals have been killed. In the last 24 hours, the state has experienced 112.5 mm of rainfall (barring Mumbai).

GIS mapping, drones to keep tabs on illegal constructions
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Pune: The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) is planning to use remote sensing satellite images and the Geographical Information System (GIS) data along with drones to identify illegal constructions in the area.A pilot was launched in April-May this year which helped identify over 100 constructions. The PMRDA has procured two drones and plans to use them to keep a check on illegal constructions, said officials.Monica Singh, head of the department which monitors illegal buildings, told TOI that a pilot has been carried out using remote sensing satellite images and GIS data. However, the images were not clear due to the prevalence of monsoon, so it was halted, and will be resumed post monsoon. She said that it is currently being operated on a pilot basis and upgradation for the same is on.Heads of technical team said that after verification with satellite and drone photos, a team physically verifies the constructions and then issues notices. “As of now, monitoring is on to check whether there is any construction activity without permission. The mapping is being carried out as of now,” added officials.From 2015-18, 1,213 structures were identified, while in 2019 there were 2804 structures followed by 1687 structures in 2020 and 1342 structures in 2021. The department identified 585 structures this year. Of the total 230 structures which were demolished, 54 were carried out this year. Of the 94 FIRs registered, 59 were done in 2020, 17 registered in 2021 and 18 registered this year, the data show.The PMRDA officials said that as per the state’s norms, the structures constructed after December 2015 could be regularised by paying necessary penalties and such constructions would be declared as “compounded structures” after payment of compounding charges, infrastructure charges and premium by both the owners and the occupier.An official said that due process has been followed by issuing notices to these structures under section 53 (1) of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act. The official added that the structures are razed only if the owners fail to respond to the notices. A three-week timeframe was given to each notice following which the structures were razed.The PMRDA uses medium resolution satellite imagery to identify the illegal structures under its jurisdiction spread over 6,984sqkm area, comprising nearly 816 villages.

GIS mapping, drones to keep tabs on illegal constructions
Parts of Pune record 60mm in 2 hours, state to see more rainfall this wk: IMD
The Indian Express | 3 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
3 weeks ago | |

THIS WEEK, Maharashtra will experience heavy rainfall, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned on Sunday. The city on Sunday witnessed heavy rainfall along with thunder and lightning post afternoon. In less than two hours, many areas, including Wanaori, Hadapsar, Pashan and Magarpatta, recorded over 60mm.    Pune will receive similar moderate intensity spells during the week ahead, the IMD said in its forecast.As the intense spell of showers lashed the city, Pimpri-Chinchwad and surrounding areas from Sunday afternoon, commuters struggled with traffic snarls while residents battled waterlogging in several low-lying areas in the evening.According to the information given by the Pune fire brigade control room, the personnel responded to calls about waterlogging from 25 areas, including Chandannagar, Ved Bhavanin Kothrud, near garbage processing centre in Kothrud, Laman Tanda in Pashan, Someshwarwadi in Pashan, Wanawadi, BT Kawade Road and Katraj Udyan.  One tempo was damaged when a tree collapsed in Pashan while two incidents of wall collapse were reported from Bavdhan and Warje in which there were no casualties.Uprooting of 10 trees was reported from Pashan, Salunkhe Vihar, Kondhwa, Chavannagar and Pune Station areas. “Our teams responded to calls about waterlogging and helped people stuck in those areas. They also helped create a passage for the water to recede. Collapsed trees were removed and blocked roads were cleared,” said an officer from the control room.Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Rahul Shrirame said, “Heavy spell of rains led to slow-moving traffic at many places. Officers and personnel from all our respective traffic divisions were on the ground responding to the situation and managing the traffic flow. Because of Sunday, the traffic movement was less than usual.”Four people, who were trapped in their homes due to water logging — three in Gadital and one in Ghorpadi Gain — were moved to safety by Fire brigade personnel. Some two-wheelers were washed away in Alandi and Dighi.Officials said that traffic bottlenecks were reported from many places due to waterlogged roads and malfunctioning signals. Arterial roads in Katraj, Pashan, Shivajinagar, Kothrud, Camp, Wanawadi, Pune Station area and the central parts of Pune witnessed slow-moving traffic during the peak hour in the evening, officials added.An ‘orange’ alert for Monday and Tuesday was issued for Pune, Satara, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Kolhapur districts with the Met department warning of heavy to very heavy rainfall (64.5-204.4mm in 24 hours) along ghat areas. These districts will remain on ‘yellow’ alert till Friday.Whereas Palghar, Thane, Mumbai, Sindhudurg, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati, Bhandara, Buldhana, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Nagpur, Wardha, Washim and Yavatmal districts are placed in ‘yellow’ alert with likely chances of heavy rainfall (64.4-115.4mm in 24 hours) till September 15.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxThe enhanced rainfall will be associated with the prevailing depression located over Odisha and its movement in the subsequent days. “The well-marked low-pressure system has intensified into a depression. This system will move west-northwestwards and move across south Odisha and southern Chhattisgarh during the next 24 hours and weaken gradually,” the IMD said in its latest weather forecast.As the system traverses along central India in the coming days, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat will receive widespread very heavy spells, which will continue till Friday.Moreover, there is a cyclonic circulation located off the Maharashtra-Goa coast and the monsoon trough is located to the south of its normal position. “All these favourable conditions will keep the monsoon active over Maharashtra, especially the Vidarbha region,” said an official from IMD, Pune.

Parts of Pune record 60mm in 2 hours, state to see more rainfall this wk: IMD
Fresh low-pressure system over Bay of Bengal to keep monsoon active till Sunday: IMD
The Indian Express | 4 weeks ago | |
The Indian Express
4 weeks ago | |

A fresh low-pressure system is likely to form over the Bay of Bengal on Thursday and keep the momentum of rainfall activity over most parts of the country going till the end of this week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.Even though the Southwest monsoon begins to retreat from the extreme northwestern parts of the country from early September, there are no immediate signs of a retreat. The upcoming synoptic and following systems are likely to keep the monsoon active and the rainfall activity is expected to continue till the third week of the month, the Met said.On Wednesday, the IMD said a cyclonic circulation had formed over east-central Bay of Bengal. “Under the influence of this cyclonic circulation, a low-pressure system is likely to form over the west-central Bay of Bengal during the next 24-hours,” the IMD said in its bulletin on Wednesday.The present active monsoon spell will affect central, peninsular and eastern India, the agency said, adding that Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and parts of northern Karnataka and Kerala will receive widespread heavy rainfall (64.5 to 115.4mm in 24 hours) over the next five days.At present, there are multiple favourable weather systems active over central India. On Wednesday, the monsoon trough shifted south of its normal position, which will bring enhanced rainfall over peninsular India regions.The cyclonic circulation continues to prevail over interior Karnataka, which has brought Bengaluru to its knees. On Wednesday, the rainfall activity shifted to northern Karnataka and will continue to do so in the coming days. Guttal (150mm), Gadag 9120mm), Kakkeri (80mm) recorded heavy rainfall since Tuesday.On Wednesday, the entire southern India along with Maharashtra and Goa received normal or above rainfall. Since June 1, the quantum of rainfall across the country was 784.9mm, 5 per cent above normal. With three more weeks of the monsoon remaining, it is highly likely that the country would end up receiving normal seasonal rainfall this year.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxAccording to IMD’s latest forecast, rainfall intensity over Bengaluru will reduce significantly even as cloudy skies would prevail till the end of this week. Both urban and rural areas of Bengaluru, the IMD said, will receive light rainfall (2.4 to 15mm in 24-hours) over the next five days.An ‘orange’ alert is out for north interior Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha till Saturday, with the IMD warning of widespread very heavy rainfall (115.5 to 200.4mm in 24-hours).The Met had also issued a ‘yellow’’ alert on Saturday and Sunday, warning of heavy rain, thunder and lightning over Gujarat, eastern Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.

Fresh low-pressure system over Bay of Bengal to keep monsoon active till Sunday: IMD
Nagpur: Irked by NMC, NIT failure to act, Deepak Nagar residents fill potholes
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

NAGPUR: Irked by the lack of efforts from Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to repair crater-riddled roads in north Nagpur, residents of Deepak Nagar repaired the road on their own. A video of citizens pouring sand and boulders in craters on this road has gone viral on social media. After Sunday morning’s heavy rain, residents of the locality like Mangesh Yadav, Vishnu Tiwari, Vinod Yadav and Dharmendra Yadav collected construction debris dumped outside many houses there and filled the craters. But as the entire stretch of road has developed crater-shaped potholes, all these efforts of citizens proved futile. Bhagwat Yadav, a local resident, told TOI that the condition of roads in their colony was pitiable. “The road was built almost two decades ago. Nothing has happened since then. Today one can only see craters. During monsoon, driving on this road means playing with our own lives,” a miffed Salauddin Khan said, who claimed that he fell twice and sustained injuries this monsoon. Pappu Shahu, a scrap dealer and a resident of the locality, said he had recently used two bags of plaster of paris to carry out patchwork in front of his house. “The stretch poses a greater risk in monsoon when crater-size potholes fill up with stagnant water, leading to accidents,” he said. TOI tried to contact NMC’s officiating chief engineer Leena Upadhyaya but she could not be reached despite several attempts. Former corporator Manoj Sangole said the condition of tar roads in this part of the city is pathetic. Despite complaints and memorandums to NMC, NIT, North Nagpur MLA Nitin Raut and Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, nothing has happened, he said. “I had also filed a petition in the high court about the pathetic condition of five roads, including Kapil Nagar to Deepak Nagar, Kamgar Nagar to Tegiya Colony and Tyrewala Chowk and from Gurunanak Pharmacy College Road to Dixit Nagar (Mhada Colony) in this part of the city,” said Sangole. Data obtained from NMC revealed that the civic body has repaired 3,245 potholes in this financial year, which comes to around 40,717.82 square metre of area. Of them, NMC’s hotmix department repaired 2,336 potholes, while Jet Patcher and Insta Road patcher machines were used to carry out repairs of 615 and 294 potholes across the city limits. Motorists, however, expressed anguish over the methodology of NMC to repair potholes. After the civic body’s pothole repair drive, rides became bumpy, they said, adding that the repair works too were shoddy.

Nagpur: Irked by NMC, NIT failure to act, Deepak Nagar residents fill potholes
Farmers worried as dry spell withers crops in Marathwada
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

AURANGABAD: Suresh Patil, a 36-year-old farmer in the Mukhed taluka of Nanded district, is having sleepless nights as the soyabean and sorghum crops he had planted during kharif season have dried up now. "The last time our area received showers was around 20 days ago. No major rainfall activity was reported thereafter. I do not know how to overcome the losses as a lot of money was spent during the kharif season," he said. Just like Patil, many other farmers from across Marathwada, including Nanded, Parbhani and Hingoli districts, are a worried lot as their kharif crops are under acute stress. The crops are withering away due to the absence of rain for a considerable period of time. In what could brew more trouble for the farming community, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert for Nanded, Parbhani and Hingoli districts, among other areas, with chances of gusty winds and heavy rainfall at isolated places that may inflict further damage to the crops. After 113% of the average rainfall by the end of July, Marathwada had reported 53% monsoon deficit, posing threat to the crops at many places. While Aurangabad, Jalna, Latur, Osmanabad and Beed districts have witnessed the return of rainfall during September, Nanded, Parbhani and Hingoli are still experiencing the vagaries of the monsoon. Notably, Nanded, Parbhani and Hingoli had witnessed floods at many places due to heavy to very heavy rain in July. They are now seeing an extended dry-spell like condition due to the lean phase of monsoon. K K Dakhore, the agricultural meteorologist at the Parbhani-based Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University, said parts of Marathwada have seen the dry spell of monsoon extend up to three weeks. "Such a long dry spell is definitely harmful to the kharif crops, especially those in the rain-fed areas. The areas experiencing such dry spells are also witnessing a rise in maximum temperature by around 5 units as compared to the normal range. The rise in mercury level could lead to withering of crops," he said. Marathwada, since June 1, has reported 611 mm rainfall - 90% of season's quota.

Farmers worried as dry spell withers crops in Marathwada
UPSC Essentials: Weekly news express with MCQs— World’s fifth biggest economy to UN High Seas Treaty
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

The Indian Express’ UPSC weekly news express covers some of the most important topics of current affairs news from this week to help you prepare for UPSC-CSE. Try out the MCQs and check your answers provided towards the end of the article.India soars ahead of UK to become world’s fifth biggest economySyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies III- Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.Why in news?— India has become the world’s fifth-largest economy after it overtook the United Kingdom in end-March 2022, according to the latest calculations by Bloomberg.Key takeaways— India leaped past the UK in the final three months of 2021 to become the fifth-biggest economy. The calculation is based in US dollars, and India extended its lead in the first quarter, according to GDP figures from the International Monetary Fund.— The news comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging countrymen to resolve to become a “developed” country by 2047 — the centenary of India’s Independence. As such, moving past one of the biggest economies in the world, especially one that ruled over the Indian sub-continent for two centuries, is a major milestone.— The Indian economy is forecast to grow more than 7% this year. A world-beating rebound in Indian stocks this quarter has just seen their weighting rise to the second spot in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, trailing only China’s.— On an adjusted basis and using the dollar exchange rate on the last day of the relevant quarter, the size of the Indian economy in “nominal” cash terms in the quarter through March was $854.7 billion. On the same basis, UK was $816 billion.— UK GDP grew just 1% in cash terms in the second quarter and, after adjusting for inflation, shrank 0.1%. Sterling has also underperformed the dollar relative to the rupee, with the pound falling 8% against the Indian currency this year.— The IMF’s own forecasts show India overtaking the UK in dollar terms on an annual basis this year, putting the Asian powerhouse behind just the US, China, Japan and Germany. A decade ago, India ranked 11th among the largest economies, while the UK was 5th.Comparing India and UK— Population size is one of the most fundamental differences between the two countries. As of 2022, India has a population of 1.41 billion while the UK’s population is 68.5 million. In other words, India’s population is 20 times that of the UK’s.— There is such a stark difference between the population of the two countries, GDP per capita provides a more realistic comparison of income levels because it divides a country’s GDP by the population of that country. It is not surprising to note that the income of an average Indian is far lower.— Low per capita incomes often point to high levels of poverty. It is noteworthy that at the start of the 19th century, the UK’s share in extreme poverty was considerably higher than India’s. However, as things stand today, the relative positions have reversed even though India has made giant strides in curbing poverty.— Arguably, the end goal of higher GDP and faster economic growth is to have better human development parameters. The Human Development Index is a composite of health, education and standard of living parameters. Despite its secular improvement, India might still take a decade to be where the UK was in 1980.— A crucial element of becoming richer as a country is the quality of life available to citizens. The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Index is measured on a scale from 0 (worst) to 100 (best) based on the average coverage of essential services including reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and service capacity and access. While faster economic growth and the government’s policy focus on healthcare schemes since 2005 have made a distinct improvement for India, there is still a long way to go.Point to ponder: As such, while India should own the tag of the world’s fastest-growing economy, it is important to understand that being so is just the necessary condition for India’s prosperity, not the sufficient one. Comment.1. MCQ:Economic growth in country X will necessarily have to occur if (UPSC-CSE 2013)(a) there is technical progress in the world economy(b) there is population growth in X(c) there is capital formation in X(d) the volume of trade grows in the world economyFloods in PakistanSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies I: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.Why in news?— While Europe, China and some other regions of the world are experiencing a severe drought, Pakistan is facing one of the worst floods in its recent history. Reports say about 110 of the 150 districts in the country are affected by the flooding. Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Sunday that over 1,000 people were confirmed dead in the floods so far.Key takeaways— The current flood is a direct result of an extremely wet monsoon season this year. The same southwest monsoon that brings the bulk of India’s annual rainfall causes rain in Pakistan as well.— The monsoon season in Pakistan, however, is a little shorter than in India. That is because the rain-bearing monsoon winds take time to travel northward from India into Pakistan. The official monsoon season in Pakistan begins on July 1 and extends until September, although most of the rainfall happens during the months of July and August. The active rainfall season is only one and a half months.— The normal rainfall for Pakistan as a whole during this three-month monsoon season is 140 mm. But because the season is quite short, there is a wide variation in the monsoon rainfall every year.— The rainfall situation in Pakistan has been quite different from that of India so far, though incidents of extreme rainfall and flooding have occured here as well.— In August, India has received rainfall that is barely 6 per cent more than the normal. For the entire season so far, the country has received 7 per cent more than normal rainfall.— However, because India is such a huge country, the overall numbers hide marked variations at the regional and local levels. Just last week, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand experienced torrential rainfall, triggering landslides and flashfloods that killed over 30 people.— In August, central India, comprising mainly Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, has received 26 percent excess rainfall.Point to ponder: Since floods in Pakistan bear similarities to those in India, it’s time for a collaborative mechanism to deal with extreme weather events. Discuss.MCQ:Consider the following statements and answer the question below1. Extreme floods often lead to extreme drought.2. When the river basin floods, much of the water flows to the ocean rather than seeping into the soil, paradoxically causing water scarcity. Which of the following statement is/are correct?a) Both 1 and 2 b) only 1c) only 2d) Neither 1 nor 2UN High Seas TreatySyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies II: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.Why in news?— Negotiations involving 168 countries, including the European Union, to agree on a UN treaty for protecting oceans failed Saturday (August 27).— When the latest round of talks began two weeks ago in New York, it was hoped that an agreement would be arrived at for the conserving marine life at the ‘high seas’ which lie outside the exclusive jurisdiction of different countries.— In June, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had declared an “ocean emergency” at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, citing threats to the world’s oceans.Key takeaways— Also referred to as the ‘Paris Agreement for the Ocean’, the treaty to deal with Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction has been under discussion for several years.— The proposed treaty concerns the ocean existing beyond the Exclusive Economic Zones that lie from the coast of a country to about 200 nautical miles or 370 km into the sea, till where it has special rights for exploration. Waters beyond that are known as open seas or high seas.— The treaty was to be negotiated under the United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982 which governs the rights of countries regarding marine resources. As there is no treaty for conserving the health of vast swathes of the earth’s oceans, a UN resolution in 2017 had decided to rectify this while setting 2022 as the deadline.— The pandemic resulted in many delays, and later, a High Ambition Coalition, which now has more than 100 countries including India, the US, and the UK, came about and put the focus on ‘30×30’ goals – protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030. After the latest deadlock, talks will only resume next year, unless a special session is called.— Some aspects of negotiations included establishing marine protected areas to put limits on certain activities, environmental impact assessments or clearances for sustainability of works, financial support to countries and sharing other scientific knowledge. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has said binding agreements are needed for this treaty to be effective.How are the world’s oceans regulated as of now?— Some treaties, along with the UNCLOS, regulate the conduct of actors on the high seas. The UNCLOS led to the establishment of territorial sea boundaries 22 km offshore, deciding the region up to which countries could claim full sovereign territorial rights, as well as the 200 nautical miles EEZ limit. It also created the International Seabed Authority and other conflict-resolution mechanisms.— But a treaty dedicated to protecting ocean health does not exist as of now. Conversely, every country has the right to access open seas, resulting in large-scale drilling and trawling operations for catching fish and other animals for commercial purposes.What are the risks of countries failing to reach an agreement?— Ninety percent of global warming is occurring in the ocean, according to the NASA website.— “The effects of ocean warming include sea level rise due to thermal expansion, coral bleaching, accelerated melting of Earth’s major ice sheets, intensified hurricanes, and changes in ocean health and biochemistry,” it says. Excessive fishing has increased manifold over the years, and a third of species such as sharks and rays are at the risk of extinction, according to the World Wildlife Fund.— Despite acknowledging these threats, members failed to agree on how to deal with these threats.— There has been talk of resistance from countries that engage in deep sea mining of minerals or are heavily invested in fishing. “Although we did make excellent progress, we still do need a little bit more time to progress towards the finish line,” UN Oceans Ambassador Rena Lee said, the AFP reported.— Some countries in the Caribbean alleged that richer countries of the Global North did not actively participate until the last few days of the talks.Point to ponder: India needs to strengthen its maritime laws and regulatory mechanisms. Discuss.MCQ:With reference to UNCLOS, which of the following is not correct?a) It not only zones coastal states’ offshore areas but provides specific guidance for states’ rights and responsibilities in the five concentric zones.b)It is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces. c) Each coastal State may claim an EEZ beyond and adjacent to its territorial sea that extends seaward up to 200 nm from its baselines.d) The ocean surface and the water column beyond the EEZ are referred to as the Contiguous Zone.Jio’s ‘standalone’ 5G architecture, and how it will workSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importanceMain Examination: General Studies III: Changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth and Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.Why in news?—India’s largest telecom company Reliance Jio on Monday announced the launch of its 5G services in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai by Diwali this year, with an aim to expand and cover the entire country by December 2023.—The company said it will launch its 5G services on a “standalone” 5G architecture, against the “non-standalone” approach that other operators are betting on.—The disagreement between service providers on the network modes they are taking to roll out the next generation of mobile telephony also spotlights questions over the readiness of Indian consumers to move to 5G.Key takeaways—5G networks are deployed mainly on two modes: standalone and non-standalone. Both architectures have their advantages and disadvantages, and the path chosen by operators primarily reflects their view of the market for the new technology, and the consequent rollout strategy.—In the standalone mode, which Jio has chosen, the 5G network operates with dedicated equipment, and runs parallel to the existing 4G network, while in the non-standalone mode, the 5G network is supported by the 4G core infrastructure.—Given that the non-standalone networks are built on existing infrastructure, the initial cost and the time taken to roll out services through this track is significantly less than standalone networks. Jio has committed an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore for its standalone 5G network.—The standalone mode provides access to full 5G capabilities and new network functionalities such as slicing that provides greater flexibility to operators to efficiently use their spectrum holdings.—Non-standalone networks are generally considered to be a stepping stone, and global precedent suggests operators that have launched non-standalone 5G networks eventually transition to standalone networks. The non-standalone mode, however, lets operators maximise the utilisation of their existing network infrastructure with relatively lower investment.—The biggest difference in the two architectures is the compatibility with existing device ecosystems. Most smartphones today have capability to connect to non-standalone 5G networks — which are essentially 5G airwaves transmitted through 4G networks — and will require software updates by their OEMs to be able to connect to standalone networks.—5G could have benefits for consumers owing to the superior Internet speed and low latency it promises over 4G. At its peak, Internet speeds on 5G could touch 10 Gbps, compared to the 100 Mbps peak of 4G. Similarly, latency under 4G is between 10-100 ms (millisecond) whereas on 5G it is expected to be under 1 ms. Latency is the time it takes for a device to send packets of data and get a response. Shorter the latency, quicker the response.—According to a May 2019 report by Ericsson, a key player in the 5G equipment market, while it is a common belief that 5G might not deliver any near-term benefits for consumers, they expect 5G to offer a step change in network performance, relief from urban network congestion, and more home broadband choices as near-term benefits.—Further, it pointed out that while there were reservations back in 2010 during the onset of 4G about the technology’s actual benefits for consumers, today, a number of online activities — from streaming ultra high definition content to making video calls, especially propelled by the pandemic — that are possible on 4G, would have been near impossible on 3G speeds.—For most industrial use cases such as manufacturing, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, the speeds and latency levels offered by 5G telephony are the key selling propositions. These low latencies and high Internet speeds can only be made available through the standalone architecture.—Also, given the high investments that would have typically gone into standalone modes, operators would look at designing high-margin offerings for business customers on these networks. Comparatively, the early rollout timelines and low infrastructure costs would make non-standalone networks more attractive for smartphone users.Point to ponder: 1G to 5G and further: What changes with each ‘G’?MCQ:Which of the following statements is not correct?a) Launched in the late 1970s in China, 1G was the first generation of mobile telecommunication technology that offered voice calls only. b) The analog signals of 1G became completely digital in the second generation.c) The non-standalone mode of 5G network lets operators maximise the utilisation of their existing network infrastructure with relatively lower investment.d) With increase in cellular bandwidth, blazing speed and low latency, 5G promises to boost the ‘Internet of Things’.Destination Moon, and beyondSyllabus:Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.Mains Examination: General Studies III: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.Why in news?—The launch of a keenly awaited space mission that is being seen as the start of a new age in space exploration had to be put off on Monday evening after engineers were unable to resolve a problem involving inadequate flow of liquid hydrogen to one of the rocket’s four engines.Key takeaways—It has been 50 years since the six Apollo human moon landings between 1969 and 1972. There has been huge progress in space exploration since then. Spacecraft have now gone beyond the solar system, exploratory missions have probed Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, more than 500 astronauts have travelled to space and back, and permanent space laboratories like the International Space Station (ISS) have been set up.—However, the promise of transporting human beings to new worlds, the possibility of landing, and living, on other planets, or travelling deep into space, probably even encountering aliens, has remained stagnant since the last of the 12 astronauts to set foot on the Moon returned in 1972.—This is why Artemis 1 is being seen as ushering in a new space age. It is the first in a series of ambitious missions that are planned to take human beings back to the Moon, explore possibilities of extended stay there, and investigate the potential to use it as a launch pad for deep space explorations.—On the face of it, Artemis 1 has extremely humble mission objectives. It is technically only a lunar Orbiter mission. It is not carrying any astronauts. It does not even have a lander or rover component. The mission’s spacecraft, called Orion, will get into a lunar orbit that would be about 97 km from the Moon’s surface at its closest. But unlike most other Orbiter missions, Orion has a return-to-Earth target after it has orbited the Moon for about a month.—Although the objective is to ensure the return of human beings to the Moon, the Artemis missions are going to be qualitatively very different from the Apollo missions. In many ways, the Moon landings of the 1960s and 1970s came a little too early in the space age. Man had reached the Moon just 12 years after the first-ever satellite, Sputnik, had been launched.—The Apollo missions were guided by geo-political considerations, and the desire of the United States to go one up on the Soviet Union which had taken a considerable lead in space technology, having sent the first satellite in space, the first spacecraft to crash on to the lunar surface, and the first astronaut in space.—President John F Kennedy had made a public announcement in 1961 that the US would put a man on the Moon before the decade was out. That deadline was met, thanks to a massive mobilisation of resources towards that end. But the technology ecosystem that could have maximised the benefits of such a major scientific breakthrough was still to be built. Therefore, astronauts landing on the moon could do little than bring back samples back to Earth for investigations.—The Artemis missions are in a position to exploit the major advancements in space technologies over the years. These technologies now make it possible to start extracting the resources found on the Moon, build from the materials available there, harness hydrogen or helium as energy source. Not all of that would happen with the first mission itself, but these things are distinctly possible now, making human landings on the Moon much more meaningful than earlier.—Artemis 1 is all about laying the foundations for more complex and ambitious missions. It is carrying several payloads in the form of small satellites called CubeSats, each of which is equipped with instruments meant for specific investigations and experiments. The focus of these investigations is clearly to explore long-term stays of human beings in space, and on the Moon.—One CubeSat will search for water in all its forms, another will map the availability of hydrogen that can be utilised as a source of energy. Then there are biology experiments, investigating the behaviour of small organisms like fungi and algae in outer space, and the effect of radiation, especially the reaction on their genes.—The Orion spacecraft, which is specifically designed to carry astronauts into deep space on future missions, will have three dummy ‘passengers’ — mannequins made of material that mimic human bones, skin, and soft tissue. These would be equipped with a host of sensors to record the various impacts of deep space atmosphere on the human body.—The rocket that is being used for the Artemis missions, called Space Launch System, or SLS, is the most powerful ever built, more powerful than the Saturn V rockets that had taken the Apollo missions to the Moon. The giant, 98-metre-tall rocket, weighing 2,500 tonnes, can help the Orion spacecraft achieve speeds of over 36,000 km per hour, and take it directly to the Moon, which is 1,000 times farther than the International Space Station that sees a regular traffic of astronauts.—The excitement around the mission will, however, have to be held back for the time being. There was a two-hour window on Monday to launch the mission, between 8.33 am and 10:33 am Eastern Daylight Time (about 6 pm to 8 pm in India). The launch was called off shortly after 8.33 am (6 pm India time) since the engineers who had been working on the problem for over two hours had been unable to resolve the issue.—The problem had been detected a few hours ahead of the launch. The flow of liquid hydrogen to one of the four engines of the rocket was not found to be optimal, which could have resulted in over-heating.Point to ponder: What is the significance of NASA’s Artemis mission, the beginning of a new age of human exploration of the Moon?MCQ:Consider the following statements with respect to Artemis 1 and answer the question below.1. Artemis 1 is carrying several payloads in the form of small satellites called CubeSats.2. The Orion spacecraft, which is specifically designed to carry astronauts into deep space on future missions, will have three dummy ‘passengers’.3. Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration.Which of the following statements are true?a) 1 and 3b) 2 and 3c) 1 and 2d) All of the aboveAnswer to the MCQs- 1 (c), 2(a), 3(d), 4(a), 5(d)

UPSC Essentials: Weekly news express with MCQs— World’s fifth biggest economy to UN High Seas Treaty
Kharif crop sowing in Maharashtra increases marginally by 2.02 lakh hectare
The Indian Express | 1 month ago | |
The Indian Express
1 month ago | |

Till the end of August, the total area covered under kharif crops in Maharashtra stands at 145.95 lakh hectare. The kharif sowing this year has shown marginal increase by 2.02 lakh hectare in comparison to last year for the same period when it was 143.93 lakh hectare, said officials on Saturday.Despite incessant rain and floods in some parts of Maharashtra, the sowing of kharif crops has not been affected. But what has set the 1.52 crore farmers of the state worried is the quality and quantity of harvest.The primary report from the agriculture department puts crop damage due to rain and floods across ten lakh hectare. The criteria adopted for evaluation of damage and compensation assessment is rainfall beyond 65 mm within 24 hours and 33 per cent crop loss.The data sourced from the department shows an average kharif crop sowing between 2016-2017 and 2020-21 is at 153.88 lakh hectare.A highly placed source in the agriculture department said, “Although our estimate was higher sowing, the reason for a shortfall was erratic climate conditions. There was intense rain especially in Eastern Vidarbha, parts of Marathwada, North and Western Maharashtra. The coastal Konkan belt was subjected to at least two major cyclones followed by floods.”An officer in the agriculture department said, “The coverage gives satisfaction. But only after harvest will we be able to ascertain how much the production has been hit.”The sowing of the main kharif crop, soyabean, has shown moderate increase. Soyabean was sowed on 45 lakh hectare against 41 lakh hectare a year ago. Majority of the farmers from Vidarbha and Marathwada depend on soyabean cultivation.Another cash crop, which is the mainstay of farmers in the backward Vidarbha and Marathwada regions is cotton. Cotton plantation was done on 42 lakh hectare compared to 39.36 lakh hectare last year.The area under oilseeds sowing stands at 50.62 lakh hectare, higher than previous years of 48.23 lakh hectare, the data showed. Since 2014, the Maharashtra government along with the Centre has been urging farmers to grow oilseeds. It is also a part of the central scheme which is promoting oilseeds cultivation to meet domestic requirements of edible oil so that it can curtail imports to a great extent.Sugarcane plantation is mostly done during winters (rabi season) but some farmers took to sugarcane cultivation on 3.69 lakh hectare, showing higher coverage from last year’s 2.47 lakh hectare for the identical months.If we exclude sugarcane plantation, the kharif sowing till August end 2022 drops from 145.95 lakh hectare to 142.26 lakh hectare. Whereas, last year’s kharif sowing area minus sugarcane stood at 141.45 lakh hectare.The regionwise analysis excluding sugarcane sowing for kharif crops is as follows: Konkan: 4.1 lakh hectare, Nashik: 20.39 lakh hectare, Pune: 11.66 lakh hectare, Kolhapur: 7.34 lakh hectare, Aurangabad: 20.42 lakh hectare, Latur: 27.64 lakh hectare, Amravati 31.3 lakh hectare and Nagpur 19.37 lakh hectare.With IMD indicating early withdrawal of monsoon, the overall area under kharif sowing is unlikely to alter as it began early July. Due to the rains, the farmers had to go for second and third sowings between July and August end. At least 40 per cent farmers have been adversely affected by the heavy rains.Farmer leader and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president Raju Shetti said, “The rains have wrecked lives of the farmers. Across the state, the rains and floods have badly impacted farming.” Shetti believes 78 per cent small and marginal farmers who depend on the kharif season for a livelihood will be pushed into a severe financial crisis this year. “The agriculture sector will require a lot of assistance from both centre and state,” he cautioned.In the recently-concluded monsoon session in the state legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reassured all help to the farmers to override the crisis. The CM announced Rs 13,600 per hectare compensation for crop loss. The compensation was increased from the previous Rs 6,800 per hectare sanctioned under the National Disaster Relief Fund.State agriculture minister Abdul Sattar said, “The state government is sensitive towards farmers’ problems. The government will do everything possible to help farmers reeling under the crisis.”

Kharif crop sowing in Maharashtra increases marginally by 2.02 lakh hectare