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Monthly DNA

07 Jan, 2023

24 Min Read

Cold Wave in India

GS-I : Physical Geography cold waves

Cold Wave in India

  • In December and January, Delhi is prone to chilly spells. The number of cold wave days in January has fluctuated from zero to seven over the last decade.
  • On January 8, the lowest minimum temperature recorded was 1.9 degrees Celsius, the second-lowest minimum temperature in January in 15 years.
  • The region had extreme chilly day conditions due to fog and low cloud covering, with temperatures remaining below normal in parts of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

What is a Coldwave?

  • Coldwave conditions are defined as a percentage drop in temperature from the typical climatological value at a certain region. Cold wave (CW) conditions are most common in India from November to March.
  • Except in southern India, a cold wave is a localised seasonal phenomenon that occurs throughout the country.
  • Transient disturbances in the mid-latitude westerlies, frequently with mild frontal characteristics, affect the northern sections of India, particularly the mountainous regions of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and the bordering plains.

Why is North India experiencing colder temperatures than usual?

  • Wind and moisture content: Due to light winds and high moisture levels at the land's surface, large portions of the Indo-Gangetic plains have been blanketed in fog.
  • Long-lasting fog interferes with the balance of radiation by preventing sunlight from reaching the surface.
  • Westerly and northwesterly winds of 5 to 10 km/h in the afternoon have also contributed to the temperature drop.
  • Foggy Nights: Warmer nights are typically linked with fog, but if the fog persists for two or three days, cooling begins even at night.
  • The 'core cold wave zone' in India includes Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, and Telangana.

Causes of India's Cold Wave:

  • Cloud Coverage: Clouds capture some of the outgoing infrared heat and radiate it back down, warming the ground.
  • Snowfall in the Himalayas has brought frigid winds to the region.
  • Cold Air Subsidence over the Region: Subsidence refers to the downward flow of cold and dry air closer to the surface.
  • La Nina: The Pacific Ocean is currently experiencing La Nina conditions. La Nina is characterised by abnormally cool sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and it is known to favour cold waves.
  • The severity of frigid circumstances increases during La Nina years. The frequency and area under the grasp of a cold wave increase.
  • Western Disturbances: Cold waves in India can be caused by Western disturbances. Western disturbances are meteorological systems that form in the Mediterranean Sea and migrate eastward, bringing chilly winds, rain, and cloud cover to India's northwest. These disturbances can produce temperature drops and cold wave conditions. Not all western disturbances, however, bring cold wave conditions.

Impact of Cold wave:

  • Cold waves and frost are major factors that influence crop, horticulture plantation/orchard growth, and production and have a substantial impact on agriculture. As a result, people's livelihoods suffer as a result.
  • Livestock: A cold wave can potentially kill or injure livestock. Similarly, animals face shelter and food issues throughout the winter.
  • Cold waves or severely cold weather have an impact on the transportation industry, including airways, rivers and seaports, motorways, railways, local transportation, and so on.
  • Power Sector: There is a risk of power lines tripping in dense fog paths.
  • Economic Loss: Crops, horticulture, forest trees, livestock, fisheries, water supply, electricity supply, transportation, tourism, social activities, and the economy all suffered major damage.

Mitigations and Measures:

  • Multi-dimensional Approach: A multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional administrative approach is required to address governance challenges connected to Disaster Risk Management for cold waves.
  • The health system can be improved by introducing treatments to deal with the effects of the recent cold wave.
  • National Level Plan: It was difficult for disaster management to conduct uniform preventive, preparatory, and mitigation actions because there were no national standards and action plans for cold waves.
  • Preventive Efforts: To lessen the effects of the cold waves, it is necessary to develop an action plan for the cold wave season as a concurrent disaster and to implement all feasible timely preventive, readiness, and mitigation actions.

Source: The Hindu

National Geospatial Policy 2022

GS-III : Economic Issues Government policies and interventions

National Geospatial Policy 2022

  • The National Geospatial Policy 2022 was unveiled by the Ministry of Science and Technology in order to establish India as a world leader in the geospatial industry.
  • With a growth rate of 12.8%, India's geospatial economy is predicted to reach Rs 63,000 crore by 2025 and employ more than 10 lakh people.

Geospatial technology: What is it?

  • The term "geospatial technology" is used to describe a wide range of modern tools that aid in mapping and analyzing the Earth's geography and human societies. These technologies have been evolving since the first maps were drawn in the prehistoric age.
  • For geographic mapping and analysis, geospatial technology uses tools like GIS (Geographic Information System), GPS (Global Positioning System), and remote sensing.
  • These technologies record spatial data on things, things that happen, (indexed to their geographical location on earth, geotag). Both static and dynamic location data are possible.

Historical background:

  • Early cameras were launched into the air on balloons and pigeons in the 19th century, and then on airplanes in the 20th century, adding aerial photography to the historically significant schools of cartography and mapmaking.
  • The science and art of photographic interpretation and map-making advanced during World War II, and during the Cold War, satellite technology and computer development offered them new dimensions.
  • Satellites made it possible to take pictures of the Earth's surface and human activities there, albeit with significant limitations.
  • Computers have made it feasible to create digital software, maps, and data sets on socioeconomic and environmental phenomena, as well as to store and transport imagery. These things are together known as geographic information systems (GIS).

What is the National Geospatial Policy 2022?

  • It aims to strengthen the geospatial sector to assist national growth, economic success, and a vibrant information economy. It is a citizen-centric policy based on geospatial technology.
  • By 2030, the policy intends to have high-resolution topographical mapping and surveying in place, along with an accurate Digital Elevation Model (DEM).

Goals and Vision:

  • It aspires to establish India as a global geospatial leader with a top-tier innovation ecosystem.
  • To build a strong national framework that the nation can use to advance its transition to a digital economy and enhance its delivery of public services.
  • The creation of geospatial infrastructures, expertise, standards, and enterprises.
  • Institutional framework: The primary body for developing and carrying out strategies relating to the promotion of the geospatial sector shall be the Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee (GDPDC) at the national level.
  • The National Spatial Data Committee (NSDC), established in 2006, and the GDPDC, established in 2021, would be replaced and merged into the GDPDC.

The vision of the Policy:

Year 2025:

  • Establish a supportive policy and legal environment that encourages the deregulation of the geospatial sector and the decentralization of data for improved commercialization with value-added services.
  • High-resolution topographical survey and mapping in 2030 (5-10 cm for urban & rural areas and 50 cm-100 cm for forests & wastelands).

Year 2035:

  • High precision/resolution to support the blue economy, bathymetric geospatial data of interior waters and sea surface topography of shallow/deep seas are needed.
  • Major cities and towns nationwide are digital twins. At the heart of the new digital revolution is the Digital Twin, a virtual counterpart of a real asset, process, or service.

Geospatial technology is used in almost every sector of the economy:

  • Industries and agriculture
  • Administration of land,
  • development of urban or rural infrastructure,
  • banking and finance,
  • resources, minerals, and mining,
  • water disaster management,
  • health planning, and service delivery

Relevance of National Geospatial Policy:

  • The National Geospatial Policy's main objective is to transform geospatial technology and data into agents of change for attaining sustainable development goals, increasing efficiency across all economic sectors, and fostering accountability and transparency at all levels of governance.
  • In order to improve resource planning and management and better meet the unique demands of the Indian population,.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat: The Policy acknowledges the significance of locally accessible and locally pertinent Maps and Geospatial Data.
  • The National Geospatial Policy aims to strengthen national-level spatial information management arrangements across our nation by drawing on international best practices, such as work by the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Committee of Experts and the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF).
  • The Policy aims to enhance the ease of doing business for a thriving geospatial sector economy.
  • In order to bridge the geospatial digital gap, encourage innovation, creation, and incubation of ideas and start-up activities in the geospatial sector, as well as to capitalise on the opportunities presented by constantly developing technology.
  • The National Geospatial Policy will support platforms, open data, and open-source software.
  • Except for the classified geospatial data gathered by security/law enforcement agencies, all geospatial data created with public funding must be easily accessible to all Indian Entities and free from any limitations on use for development, economic, and scientific reasons.
  • This is a dynamic endeavor to support startups and lessen their reliance on foreign territory.

What are the Associated Issues?

When it comes to preserving this kind of data, there are still significant challenges that need to be properly recognized and overcome.

  • The development of secure and particularly interoperable GIS applications in the areas of defense has received little attention, despite the fact that there are many models and methods for restricting access to and sharing geospatial data. These issues include access control, security, and privacy policies.
  • Furthermore, "it might also disclose private information, such as building owners.
  • Significant obstacles and hurdles remain to be properly understood and resolved when it comes to protecting this kind of data.
  • Data Misuse and Privacy Violations: There is a high risk of potential data misuse and privacy violations if the complete corpus of geospatial data were made available by merely combining the data from the various repositories.
  • Additionally, "there is a serious concern in the context of the applications in Defence that sensitive information such as building ownerships would be disclosed or information on important infrastructure could become publicly available.

Way Forward

  • Security measures must be implemented to give users and applications access to data only when they are absolutely necessary given the sheer number of persons and organizations involved in a disaster planning scenario.
  • In the National Geospatial Policy 2022, a clear road map and SOP should be created for the national securities issues for the country where the three services, paramilitary, or critical infrastructure sectors are concerned.

Source: The Hindu

Indian Skimmers

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Wildlife & Fauna

Indian Skimmers

  • According to the Asian Waterbird Census 2023, which has just begun (recommended dates for the AWC are 7 - 22 January), the Godavari estuary in Andhra Pradesh has developed into a prime and secure habitat for the Indian Skimmer ( Rynchops albicollis).
  • Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary reported seeing about 250 Indian Skimmers.

What are Indian Skimmers?

  • Indian scissors bill is another frequent name for Indian skimmers.
  • Indian skimmers are found in the coastal estuaries of western and eastern India; they are more common in the winter.
  • The species can be seen in Central India around the Chambal River, at a few locations in Odisha, and in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Degradation of habitat and an excessively large increase in disturbances close to rivers are the main threats.

Defendant Status:

  • Red List of IUCN Status: Threatened
  • Not listed in CITES

About Coringa National Wildlife Refuge:

  • In order to safeguard other endangered species including Indian otters and Olive Ridley turtles as well as the saltwater crocodile, the government designated a portion of the Godavari mangrove system as the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary in 1978.
  • This region is essential for the breeding and nesting of about 120 species of resident and migratory birds.

Source: The Hindu

Exercise ‘Veer Guardian-2023’

GS-II : International Relations Bilateral groupings and agreements

Exercise ‘Veer Guardian-2023’

  • From January 12 to January 26, India and Japan will conduct their first-ever bilateral aviation exercise as a result of their expanding defence ties and growing concerns regarding China's military buildup in the Indo-Pacific.

About the exercise:

  • The first-ever bilateral combat air exercise between India and Japan will be called Veer Guardian 23.
  • The Japanese air bases of Hyakuri and Iruma will host this 10-day exercise between the Indian Air Force and the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF).
  • It will also be the first time a female fighter pilot from the Indian Air Force has participated in aerial wargames outside of India.
  • The Indian and Japanese air forces will perform a number of aerial combat drills during the maiden iteration of the bilateral air exercise.
  • At Japan's Hyakuri air base, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) will participate in the exercise "Veer Guardian-2023."
  • At the drill, the IAF will deploy four Su-30 MKI jets, two C-17 planes, and one IL-78 plane.
  • 4 F-2 and 4 F-15 aircraft from the JASDF will take part.


  • To allow the air warriors to share best practices, the joint exercise will also include multi-domain air combat missions in a challenging environment. A debate between specialists from both sides will be held in order to share knowledge on various operational topics.
  • During the second 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial meeting, which was held in Tokyo, Japan in 2022, the decision was made to strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries. This decision led to the holding of exercise Veer Guardian 2023.

Significance of the exercise:

  • This first exercise's goal is to improve the two air forces' defence relationships and mutual understanding. In order to better prepare the JASDF for prospective armed conflicts, it also aims to improve its tactical capabilities.
  • Exercise Veer Guardian, which will be another step toward tighter defense cooperation and deeper strategic ties between India and Japan, will highlight the two countries' expanding security co-operation. The collaborative training will strengthen the two Air Forces' long-standing friendship.
  • It will encourage India and Japan's collaboration in air defence.
  • It will strengthen the long-standing friendship between the two air forces and expand the possibilities for defense collaboration.

What are the other defense drills of Japan and India?

  • The Dharma Guardian exercise between the soldiers,
  • SHINYUU Maitri between the air forces, and
  • JIMEX between the navies is now taking place between India and Japan. The navies of the two nations also regularly engage in transit drills with a focus on the Indo-Pacific.
  • Since 2015, Japan has participated in the India-US Malabar naval military exercise. Australia is included in this exercise. The QUAD alliance, made up of these four nations, is presently attempting to prevent any "coercion" in the Indo-Pacific.
  • In 2022, Japan participated in the Indian Navy's Milan Exercise for the first time. The Indian Navy has been conducting the Milan exercise, a biennial multinational naval exercise, near the Andaman Sea since 1995.

Source: The Indian express

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