Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- Downstream dam on the Brahmaputra: china
The issue in news
China’s media reported that authorities have given the go-ahead for a Chinese hydropower company to construct the first downstream dam on the lower reaches of the Brahmaputra River or Yarlung Zangbo as it is known in Tibet.
- It has been reported that a state-owned hydropower company has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government in this regard.
- The project is expected to play a significant role in realising China’s goal of reaching a carbon emissions peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060.
- While the location of the new project is not clear, it could be at the “Great Bend” of the Brahmaputra and at the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon in Medog county.
- This is where the river falls spectacularly over a 2,000 metre-drop and turns sharply to flow across the border into Arunachal Pradesh.
- This will be the first time the downstream sections of the river Brahmaputra will be tapped.
- The construction of a dam would have potential ramifications for India.
- The recent development is seen as a new phase in China’s hydropower exploitation.
- India has expressed concerns to China over the four dams on the upper and middle reaches.
- However, Indian officials have said the dams are not likely to impact the quantity of the Brahmaputra’s flows in India greatly because they are only storing water for power generation and the Brahmaputra is not entirely dependent on upstream flows with an estimated 35% of its basin in India.
- If approved, a dam at the Great Bend would raise fresh concerns, considering its location downstream and just across the border from Arunachal Pradesh.
In 2015, China operationalised its first hydropower project at Zangmu in Tibet.
Three other dams at Dagu, Jiexu and Jiacha are being developed, on the upper and middle reaches of the river.
- Lifetime risk of diabetes
The issue in news
A new research titled ‘Lifetime risk of diabetes in metropolitan cities in India’ has been published in Diabetologia (journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).
- It shows that more than half of men (55%) and some two-thirds (65%) of women aged 20 years in India will likely develop diabetes, with most of those cases (around 95%) likely to be type 2 diabetes.
- India already has a significant health burden caused by diabetes and estimates suggest that 77 million adults have diabetes and this is expected to almost double to 134 million by 2045.
- The researchers noted that — urbanisation, decreasing diet quality and decreased levels of physical activity — are all contributing to this hidden epidemic.
- Diabetes is one of the most important threats to public health in India.
- Such high probabilities of developing diabetes will have severely negative implications for India’s already strained health system.
- It would also increase the out-of-pocket expenditure on diabetes treatment.