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PRELIMS FACTS 05-05-2018

FACT # 1

 National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) 

Why in news? NWIC has been setup as a single window source of updated data on water resources.


National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC):

  • National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) has recently been created by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation at New Delhi.
  • NWIC would be a repository of nation-wide water resources data and would work as a Subordinate Office under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • The Centre would be headed by a Joint Secretary level officer.
  • The management of water resources is a highly complex and tedious task that involves expertise of multidisciplinary domains and depend on historical and real time reliable data and information.
  • For this, the first requirement is to develop, maintain and update regularly a comprehensive Water Resources Information System (WRIS) in public domain for awareness and involvement of all concerned for effective integrated water resources management.
  • This is also prerequisite for scientific assessment, monitoring, modelling and Decision Support System (DSS) and Integrated water resource Management.
  • In this back drop NWIC is expected to:
    • provide a ‘Single Window’ source of updated data on water resources & allied themes
    • provides value added products and services to all stake holders for its management and sustainable development
    • empower, inform and enrich every citizen with upto date and reliable water data (other than classified data) and information through web based India Water Resources Information System (India-WRIS) on a GIS platform in Public Domain
    • develop value added products and services for all aspects of integrated water resources management serving the nation through research, capacity building, linkages, outreach and better governance in water resources sector
  • Besides the centre will also collaborate with leading research institutes nationally as well as internationally to provide technical support to other central and state organizations dealing with water, emergency response for hydrological extremes.

FACT # 2

Indus Dolphins


Why in news? Punjab government along World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India are conducting first organised census of Indus Dolphins.

Indus Dolphins:

  • Indus river dolphins are one of only four river dolphin species and subspecies in the world that spend all of their lives in freshwater.
  • They are believed to have originated in the ancient Tethys Sea.
  • When the sea dried up approximately 50 million years ago, the dolphins were forced to adapt to its only remaining habitat i.e. rivers.
  • Only 1,816 exist today in the lower parts of the Indus River in Pakistan and India.
  • Numbers declined dramatically after the construction of irrigation systems.
  • Most dolphins are confined to a 750 mile stretch of the river and divided into isolated populations by six barrages.
  • They have adapted to life in the muddy river and are functionally blind.
  • They rely on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey including prawns, catfish and carp.
  • It listed by the IUCN as endangered on its Red List of Threatened Species. Indus Dolphin was also found in Sutlej decades back, but river pollution has caused its extinction in river.


Dolphin census:

  • The first organised census will be conducted over period of five days in 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in Beas River in Punjab.
  • It is where riverine fresh water Indus Dolphins are confined.
  • It will be conducted two joint teams of Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab and WWF-India.
  • Its main objective is to establish accurate population of dolphins in order to plan conservation of species.

FACT # 3

Namami Gange


Why in news? Union government has started a project to strengthen Namami Gange Programme through GIS Technology

Namami Gange:

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council which was set up in October 2016 under the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities order 2016.
  • The order dissolved National Ganga River Basin Authority.
  • The aim is to clean the Gangaand its tributaries in a comprehensive manner.
  • Nitin Gadkariis the present Minister for Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  • Main pillars of the Namami Gange Programme are:-
    • Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure
    • River-Front Development
    • River-Surface Cleaning
    • Bio-Diversity
    • Afforestation
    • Public Awareness
    • Industrial Effluent Monitoring
    • Ganga Gram


GIS technology for Namami Gange programme:

  • The project includes use of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) technology which ensures accurate data collection, an important aspect for river basin management planning.
  • DEM technology will enable the identification of entire topography of an area, making it easy for policy makers to analyse the available data.
  • The use of GIS technology for Namami Gange programme will also ensure decentralization, that is the data collected by the government would be easily shared with the local public through geo portals and mobile apps.
  • The technology will also enable people to send their feedback up to the national level.
  • The high resolution GIS enabled data will help in regulating the proposed protected and regulatory zones along the banks of river.


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