World Water Week 2023: Date, Theme, Significance and History
World Water Week is a global event which is organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute every year since 1991. The programme will be held from August 20 to 24 at the Waterfront Congress Center. It is a non-profit event which aims to develop solutions for the international water crisis (alongside several other problems). Water is one of the most essential gifts of nature that we require in our daily lives. From drinking to cleaning, water serves multiple purposes in our lives. Hence, it becomes equally important for us to conserve it.
World Water Week 2023: Theme
The theme, Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World, invites a rethink of how water is managed, and urges consideration of the ideas, innovations, and governance systems that are needed in an increasingly unstable and water scarce world.
Significance of the World Water Week 2023
World Water Week 2023 is significant because it is an opportunity to come together and discuss the latest innovations in water management. The event will bring together water experts from around the world, including policymakers, scientists, engineers, and community leaders. They will share their knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, such as:
Water security in a changing climate
Sustainable water infrastructure
Water governance and management
Water and health
Water and food security
Water and the environment
The event will also feature a number of side events, including exhibitions, workshops, and roundtables. These events will provide an opportunity for participants to network, learn from each other, and collaborate on solutions to the water crisis.
World Water Week 2023 is a critical event that will help to shape the future of water management. By participating in the event, you can help to raise awareness of the global water crisis and to promote innovative solutions for a water-wise world.
Here are some of the specific ways that World Water Week 2023 can be significant:
It can help to raise awareness of the global water crisis.
It can promote innovative solutions for a water-wise world.
It can bring together water experts from around the world to share their knowledge and expertise.
It can provide a platform for policymakers to discuss water policy.
It can help to build partnerships between different stakeholders.
It can inspire people to take action on water issues.
History of the World Water Week 2023
World Water Week (WWWeek) is an annual event that has been held every year since 1991. It is organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), a non-profit organization that promotes water solutions for a sustainable world.
The first World Water Week was held in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden. The theme of the event was “Water: A Looming Crisis.” The event brought together water experts from around the world to discuss the challenges of water scarcity and pollution.
Since then, World Water Week has been held every year in Stockholm. The theme of the event has changed each year to reflect the most pressing water issues of the time. Some of the past themes have included:
Water for Sustainable Development (1992)
Water for Health (1993)
Water for Food (1994)
Water for Cities (1995)
Water for Peace (1996)
Water for the Environment (1997)
Water for the 21st Century (1998)
Water for a Changing World (1999)
Water: A Resource for All (2000)
Water: A Matter of Choice (2001)
Water: A Source of Conflict or Cooperation? (2002)
Water: The Vital Link (2003)
Water: Shaping the Future (2004)
Water: A Matter of Life and Death (2005)
Water: A Shared Responsibility (2006)
Water: The Power of Change (2007)
Water: A Global Challenge (2008)
Water: Partnerships for Change (2009)
Water: Solutions for a Sustainable World (2010)
Water: A Shared Vision for the Future (2011)
Water: The Key to Sustainable Development (2012)
Water: Innovation for Change (2013)
Water: The Race Against Time (2014)
Water: Peace and Security (2015)
Water: Our Common Challenge (2016)
Water: A Resource for Human Security (2017)
Water: Resilience in a Changing World (2018)
Water: Equity and Justice (2019)
Water: A New Story (2020)
Water: Building Back Better (2021)
India announces ‘Green’ Hydrogen standard
India has announced the definition of Green Hydrogen. The Green Hydrogen Standard for India sets a criterion of 2 kg CO2 equivalent per kg H2 as a 12-month average emission threshold. It is a significant move for the progress of the National Green Hydrogen Mission. The guidelines established by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, delineate the emission benchmarks that must be fulfilled for hydrogen production to qualify as ‘Green’, signifying its origin from renewable sources.
The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has characterized Green Hydrogen as having a well-to-gate emission (encompassing processes like water treatment, electrolysis, gas purification, hydrogen drying, and compression) that does not exceed 2 kg CO2 equivalent per kg H2.
The scope of the definition encompasses both electrolysis-based and biomass-based hydrogen production methods. The notification explicitly states that the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy will define a comprehensive methodology for measuring, reporting, monitoring, on-site verification, and certifying green hydrogen and its derivatives. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power shall be the Nodal Authority for accreditation of agencies for the monitoring, verification and certification for Green Hydrogen production projects.
It is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic and highly combustible gaseous substance.
Green hydrogen stands as an energy resource that emerges via water electrolysis using renewable sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.
This form of hydrogen plays a key factor in transitioning towards a carbon-neutral economy while aiding in climate change mitigation.
The produced hydrogen can be stored and employed as fuel across transportation, industry, and agricultural sectors.
Other types of Hydrogen: Hydrogen can also be categorized as ‘grey’ and ‘blue’.
Grey hydrogen is manufactured from fossil fuels like coal and gas, constituting around 95% of total production in South Asia.
Blue hydrogen is generated utilizing electricity produced by combusting fossil fuels; however, it incorporates technologies to capture and prevent the carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere.
Driving Factors for Green Hydrogen Development
Several compelling reasons underline the imperative to develop green hydrogen:
Energy Transition: The shift away from fossil fuels gains momentum, and green hydrogen offers a clean energy carrier to replace traditional sources across sectors.
Energy Storage: Hydrogen acts as a reservoir for excess renewable energy, effectively addressing the intermittency of solar and wind power.
Decarbonizing Industries: Hard-to-abate sectors like heavy industry and chemicals find solace in green hydrogen as a clean feedstock and energy source.
Energy Security: Diversification through green hydrogen reduces dependence on finite fossil fuels, enhancing energy security.
Global Market Potential: The surging interest in sustainable energy presents a lucrative market for green hydrogen technologies.
Technological Innovation: Ongoing research drives innovation, leading to efficient production methods and cost reduction. Meeting International Commitments: Countries committed to net-zero emissions find an ally in green hydrogen, aiding their clean energy targets.
Green hydrogen finds applications across various sectors, unlocking new possibilities for a sustainable future:
Energy Storage: Aiding grid stability by storing excess renewable energy during low-demand periods.
Power Generation: Fuelling gas turbines and fuel cells to provide backup power during peak demand.
Residential and Commercial Heating: Transitioning to hydrogen for space and water heating, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Decentralized Power Generation: Empowering remote areas with local hydrogen-based power generation.
Aviation and Shipping: Decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors through synthetic aviation and marine fuels.
Hydrogen Injection: Blending hydrogen with natural gas in pipelines to reduce carbon intensity.
Hydrogen Fuelling Stations: Expanding hydrogen-powered vehicles through dedicated refueling infrastructure.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Integrating CCS technologies for cleaner hydrogen production.
Agriculture: Enabling sustainable practices by producing fertilizers and powering machinery with green hydrogen.
As India embraces the Green Hydrogen Standard, the journey towards a cleaner and sustainable energy landscape gains momentum. Green hydrogen’s potential to reshape industries, reduce carbon footprints, and enhance energy security positions it as a pivotal player in the quest for a greener tomorrow.
Canara Bank Pioneers UPI-Interoperable Digital Rupee Mobile App for CBDC Transactions
Canara Bank, a leading player in the Indian banking sector, has taken a monumental step by introducing the UPI interoperable digital rupee mobile application. This move places Canara Bank at the forefront of innovation, becoming the first bank across both the public and commercial sectors to offer this pioneering feature. The app, named the Canara Digital Rupee app, marks a significant milestone as a part of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot project.
Enabling Seamless Transactions with UPI QR Codes
This forward-thinking initiative empowers customers to seamlessly complete transactions through their smartphones. With the Canara Digital Rupee app, customers can effortlessly scan merchant UPI QR codes, facilitating payments using the digital currency. This streamlined process brings a new level of convenience to digital payments, enhancing the overall transaction experience for users.
Simplifying Merchant Adoption of Digital Currency Payments
A distinctive aspect of this development is its positive impact on merchants. The Canara Digital Rupee app allows merchants to accept payments using their existing UPI QR codes, opening the doors to digital currency transactions without the need for a separate onboarding process for CBDC. This approach not only accelerates the adoption of digital currency but also encourages businesses to embrace innovative payment methods.
Leadership Insight: Revolutionizing the Indian Economy
K. Satyanarayana Raju, the Managing Director and CEO of Canara Bank, commended the launch of the UPI-interoperable mobile application as a revolutionary stride towards digitizing the Indian economy. Raju emphasized that this application marks a pivotal advancement, enabling customers to relish the advantages of rapid and secure transactions facilitated by the RBI’s digital currency framework.
Accessible Across Platforms for Widespread Adoption
The Canara Bank Digital Rupee mobile application is available for both Android and iOS users, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility across a wide range of smartphones. As per RBI regulations, the digital currency holds the status of legal tender, reinforcing the credibility of this innovative approach. The app’s launch marks a noteworthy milestone in India’s journey towards embracing digital currency, fostering financial modernization in the country.
Viacom18 Appoints Google’s Kiran Mani as CEO of Digital Business
In a strategic move to bolster its digital business operations, Viacom18 has welcomed Kiran Mani, a seasoned executive from Google, as the new CEO. Mani’s impressive track record and extensive experience position him well to lead Viacom18’s digital endeavors. Currently serving as the General Manager and MD for Android and Google Play in the Asia Pacific region, Mani’s 13-year tenure at Google underscores his deep understanding of digital markets.
A Proven Leader with Digital Expertise
Kiran Mani’s longstanding association with Google speaks volumes about his ability to navigate the dynamic landscape of digital platforms. His role as the head of Android and Google Play in the Asia Pacific region has equipped him with valuable insights into user behaviors, content consumption patterns, and market trends. This expertise will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in his new role as CEO of Viacom18’s digital business.
Pioneering Expansion of JioCinema
One of the significant responsibilities that Mani will shoulder is spearheading the expansion of JioCinema. This task aligns with Viacom18’s strategic vision to enhance its digital offerings and tap into the burgeoning digital content market. JioCinema, under Mani’s guidance, is poised to reach new heights, benefiting from his strategic acumen and digital industry insights.
Building on a Legacy of Industry Experts
Viacom18’s recruitment of Kiran Mani follows a trend of industry experts joining the company’s ranks. Previously, Viacom18 welcomed Kevin Vaz, an accomplished professional from Disney Star, as CEO of TV and digital (regional entertainment). Alok Jain, another former Disney Star executive, has also become a part of Viacom18 as President and Head of Colors Hindi and Regional. These strategic hires underline Viacom18’s commitment to assembling a leadership team that brings diverse expertise and a deep understanding of the media and entertainment landscape.
CSIR Introduces ‘Namoh 108’: A New Lotus Species Honoring PM Modi’s Legacy
In a significant tribute to the tireless efforts and remarkable leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has introduced a new lotus species called ‘Namoh 108’. This unveiling took place during a special event at the CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) in Lucknow. The lotus, which boasts an astonishing 108 petals, was discovered several years ago in the region of Manipur and has since been part of the institute’s collection of flora under study.
The Symbolism of ‘Namoh 108’:
The lotus variety ‘Namoh 108’ stands out due to its unique attribute of having precisely 108 petals.
The number 108 holds great religious significance in Hinduism, lending an additional layer of importance to this new lotus variety.
Discovery and Evolution:
Discovered years ago in Manipur, the lotus variety remained unnoticed until a scientist revealed its remarkable petal count four years ago.
Inspired by the revelation, CSIR-NBRI conducted an in-depth study of the lotus, including the sequencing of its genome. This marked the first instance of sequencing for any lotus variety in India.
Despite being initially ordinary in appearance, the lotus was selected for further study due to its newfound significance.
A Remarkable Offering:
The introduction of ‘Namoh 108’ was described by Science Minister Jitendra Singh as a “grand gift” to Prime Minister Modi. This gesture is a celebration of the Prime Minister’s relentless dedication and the natural beauty embodied by the lotus.
The variety’s name, ‘Namoh,’ was inspired by the phrase “Om Namaha Vasudeva,” signifying salutations in Sanskrit.
While the lotus variety might appear ordinary compared to other types, it is distinguished by its 108 petals, an attribute that differentiates it from other Indian lotus species.
‘Namoh 108’ is the only lotus variety in India to have its genome sequenced. This unique achievement sets it apart on the global stage, with the only other sequenced lotus variety hailing from China and being distinctly different.
‘Namoh 108’ has undergone extensive cloning and modification, enabling it to be cultivated more easily outside of its native Manipur.
Plans are underway to register ‘Namoh 108’ as the official lotus variety of India, given its status as the national flower.
The introduction of ‘Namoh 108’ has inspired the development of an entire industrial and entrepreneurial ecosystem around this distinctive lotus variety.
A Blossoming Future:
CSIR-NBRI will launch a ‘Lotus Mission’ as part of a broader horticultural initiative aimed at promoting the growth of ‘Namoh 108’ lotus flowers across various regions of India.
The variety’s significance and its embodiment of Indian values make it a fitting tribute to the country’s heritage and culture.
Innovations and Dedication:
Science Minister Jitendra Singh unveiled not only the ‘Namoh 108’ lotus variety but also innovative products derived from it. These include apparel made from the unique fibers of the lotus and a perfume named ‘Frotus.’
The choice of ‘Namoh’ as the lotus variety’s name was not initially linked to Prime Minister Modi, but the Science Minister’s dedication and recognition forged this connection, further enhancing the honor.
One Week One Lab Initiative:
The introduction of ‘Namoh 108’ was part of CSIR’s ‘One Week One Lab’ initiative, showcasing each lab’s history and scientific accomplishments.
Director General of CSIR, N. Kalaiselvi, joined Science Minister Jitendra Singh in celebrating this significant milestone at the CSIR-NBRI event.
G20 Pandemic Fund Allocates $25 Million to Enhance Animal Health System in India
The G20 Pandemic Fund has recently granted a significant sum of $25 million to India’s Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying. This funding is aimed at bolstering the country’s animal health system, which is a crucial component of the comprehensive One Health strategy for preventing and responding to pandemics. The ongoing global pandemic has emphasized the necessity of integrated One Health frameworks in tackling emerging infectious diseases, often originating from animals.
Notably, a substantial majority of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declared international health emergencies in recent times have been of animal origin. This reinforces the significance of addressing animal health as a pivotal facet of pandemic readiness and reaction.
Grant Approval: Strengthening Animal Health Security for Pandemic Response
Under the guidance of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, the Pandemic Fund has greenlit a proposal submitted by India’s Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD). This proposal, titled “Animal Health Security Strengthening in India for Pandemic Preparedness and Response,” has been allocated the $25 million grant.
The fund, dedicated to enhancing pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacities, with a focus on low- and middle-income nations, has received substantial interest and proposals. The fund’s governing board has approved 19 grants in its initial funding round, directed at enhancing resilience against future pandemics in 37 countries across six regions, marking a significant step forward in global pandemic mitigation.
Key Interventions and Strategies
The approved grant is earmarked for a range of strategic interventions aimed at fortifying India’s animal health system for pandemic readiness and response. These interventions include:
Disease Surveillance and Early Warning: Strengthening and integrating disease surveillance systems for early detection and timely response to potential outbreaks.
Laboratory Network Enhancement: Upgrading and expanding the laboratory network to enhance diagnostic capabilities and testing infrastructure.
Inter-Operable Data Systems: Improving data systems that can seamlessly exchange information, enabling efficient risk analysis and communication.
Capacity Building for Data Analytics: Developing expertise in data analytics for risk assessment and effective risk communication.
Transboundary Animal Disease Preparedness: Enhancing health security measures to tackle transboundary animal diseases, fortifying India’s regional cooperation efforts through cross-border collaboration.
Collaborative Implementation and Global Partnerships
The execution of this project will be a collaborative effort, with primary implementation led by the Asian Development Bank, supported by The World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). These partnerships are expected to bring expertise, resources, and global networks to amplify the project’s impact.
Anticipated Impact and Future Prospects
The envisioned impact of this initiative is multifaceted. By reducing the likelihood of pathogens transitioning from animals, including domesticated animals and wildlife, to humans, the project aims to safeguard the health, nutritional security, and livelihoods of vulnerable populations. Beyond its immediate effects, the grant is poised to attract additional resources dedicated to pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Moreover, it is anticipated to stimulate increased investments in this critical domain, foster better coordination among stakeholders, and serve as a potent advocacy platform.
BRO Initiates Construction of World’s Highest Motorable Road in Eastern Ladakh
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has embarked on a groundbreaking project to construct the ‘Likaru-Mig La-Fukche’ road in the Demchok sector of Ladakh. This strategic road will establish the world’s highest motorable road, spanning an altitude of approximately 19,400 feet, surpassing the previous record held by Umling La Pass. The initiative was launched on India’s 77th Independence Day, signifying its significance for national security.
Here are the key details of this remarkable undertaking:
Enhanced Connectivity to Remote Military Outposts: Spanning a length of 64 kilometers, the ‘Likaru-Mig La-Fukche’ road will connect crucial military outposts in the sensitive Fukche sector. Of particular strategic importance, Fukche is situated a mere three kilometers away from the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC). The road’s construction is expected to bolster communication and accessibility to these remote military installations, thereby reinforcing national security.
Breaking Previous Records: The construction of the ‘Likaru-Mig La-Fukche’ road will witness the BRO breaking its own record for the highest motorable road. By surpassing the altitude of 19,024 feet at the existing world record holder, Umling La in Ladakh, the BRO once again demonstrates its engineering prowess and commitment to enhancing the region’s connectivity and accessibility.
Women-Led Construction Efforts: An inspiring and trailblazing initiative, an all-woman unit of the BRO has taken the lead in constructing the Likaru-Mig La-Fukche road. Headed by Colonel Ponung Doming, a team of five women combat engineers has assumed the supervisory role for this ambitious project. This progressive approach not only highlights gender inclusivity but also showcases the expertise and capabilities of women in high-stakes construction endeavors.
Concurrent Key Projects: In addition to the ‘Likaru-Mig La-Fukche’ road, the BRO is simultaneously engaged in two other noteworthy projects. The first involves the construction of the Shinku La tunnel, a vital passageway connecting Manali to Leh via Zanskar. This tunnel is anticipated to break China’s MiLa tunnel record upon completion. The second project is the construction of the ‘Nyoma Airfield,’ located in Eastern Ladakh. Once finished, this airfield will stand as one of the world’s highest airfields, underscoring the BRO’s dedication to facilitating both ground and air connectivity in the region.