THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 07 JUNE 2019 (Welcome integration of water management (The Hindu))

Welcome integration of water management (The Hindu)

Mains Paper 2: Governance
Prelims level: Jal Shakti Ministry
Mains level: Requirement of Jal Shakti Ministry


  • It is welcome that the new government has walked the talk and set up the integrated Jal Shakti ministry, reorganising Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation bodies, and merging them with Drinking Water and Sanitation, to provide much-needed policy focus and coordination.
  • Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has announced that the Centre intends to provide piped drinking water to all households nationwide.
  • Implemented, that would be transformative, given that an estimated 600 million people face high-to-extreme water stress, as per NITI Aayog.

Requirement of Jal Shakti Ministry

  • Shockingly, 75% of households do not have drinking water on their premise, and 84% of rural households lack access to piped water supply.
  • It is the hitherto missing link in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, so that household toilets are actually used as intended.
  • The Jal Shakti ministry needs to be empowered to coordinate policy with the ministry of agriculture, which accounts for some 80% of water demand.

Way forward

  • It is to systematically link cropping patterns to agro-climatic zones, and not encourage water-guzzling crops in drier regions with glaring policy distortions like free power.
  • There is also the pressing need to bridge the rising gap between irrigation potential and its actual realisation, and widely diffuse sprinklers and micro-irrigation systems.
  • Besides, we need decentralised systems with participatory management by panchayats for effective rural piped water networks.
  • Relying, instead, on a large irrigation bureaucracy would make it both high-cost and quite dysfunctional.
  • Further, only a tiny number of urban areas nationally have both sewage systems and sewerage treatment plants, which clearly needs improving with stepped-up resource allocation.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Indian economy, which of the following statements regarding the ‘J Curve effect’ would be correct?
1. According to the ‘J curve effect’, the Devaluation of Rupee would eventually lead to a lower trade deficit in supply of goods.
2. This effect holds true even for export and import of highly elastic goods.
3. Immediately after the Devaluation of Rupee the Current Account Deficit would rise.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 3 only
d)1, 2 and 3

Answer: B
Mains Questions:

Q.1) What are the measures needed to be taken by Jal Shakti Ministry to improve the integration of water management?