India's composite score improves in SDG index with major success in water and sanitation

News this week
Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 as a part of the 2030 agenda. (Source: Wikipedia Commons) Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 as a part of the 2030 agenda. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Sustainable development goals index 2019-20: India's composite score improves
The list of states that have topped in the sustainable development goals index 2019-20 are Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Also, the index revealed that Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim have shown maximum improvement, while Gujarat have not shown any improvement vis-a-vis first ranking in 2018.

Moreover, India's composite score improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019-20 with major success in water and sanitation, power and industry. However, nutrition and gender equality continue to be problem areas for India, requiring more focused approach from the government.

(The Economic Times)

Past decade saw a rise in water-related violence globally
According to the statistics maintained by the California-based Pacific Institute think tank show, recorded incidents of water-related violence have more than doubled in the past 10 years compared with previous decades. The trend indicates that the reason behind the tension resulting from dwindling supplies of water in many parts of the world are population growth, poor management of resources and extreme weather events linked to the climate crisis. Apart from the entries from Ukraine and Indonesia, the shooting of five farmers in June 2017 protests in Madhya Pradesh, India over water and other issues in the drought-hit region was also among the entry from the past decade. Moreover, 31 incidents have been reported in India since 2010, compared with 11 in the previous decade. (The Guardian)

New study reveals that Ganga river's underwater has got fragmented
According to a team of scientists from Banaras Hindu University and Mahatma Gandhi Kashividyapith University in Varanasi, it has been revealed that millions of litres of wastewater dumped in Ganga river is depleting its level of dissolved oxygen, particularly near the river bed, triggering a condition known as hypoxia, in which aquatic life cannot survive. The team has found such hypoxic conditions at two stretches on the Ganga river - downstream of Assi drain in Varanasi and downstream of Wazidpur drain in Kanpur. Experts warned that such conditions are affecting not only the Ganga river but all other rivers including Yamuna and the way to prevent fragmentation of river beds is to ensure ecological flow of the rivers. (Hindustan Times)

In two years, Sunderbans lost two percent mangrove cover: Forest survey report
According to the state of forest report 2019, the Sunderbans, world’s largest mangrove delta, has lost nearly two percent mangrove cover in the last two years. The report further revealed that the mangrove cover in the Sunderbans has shrunk by more than two square kilometres between 2017 and 2019. Moreover, it is the very dense mangrove cover that has suffered maximum loss while the open mangrove cover has increased and the moderately dense mangrove cover has remained unchanged during these two years.

The experts have warned that if the trend continues it will have a disastrous effect on Kolkata and impact the livelihood of local villagers.

(Hindustan Times)

Water table in south Bengaluru rises, thanks to recharge wells
As per a study by Central Ground Water Board, which compared groundwater levels in November 2018 and November 2019, the water table in south and western region of Bengaluru has increased. The study looked at water levels in 1,299 wells across Karnataka. Of them, 78 percent recorded a rise while the rest saw a dip. Also, of the 40 wells surveyed in Bengaluru Urban district, 24 showed an increase in groundwater level, while 10 others recorded a marginal dip upto 2 metre. According to officials, a possible reason for the increase could be groundwater recharge wells set up in many parts of the city. Moreover, heavy rains and flash floods led to sharp increase in groundwater levels in North Karnataka. (The Times of India)

This is a roundup of important news published between December 25 - 31, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.

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