Current Affairs – 3 December 2021

Dam Safety Bill

The Hindu

GS 2: Government Policies & Interventions


  • The Rajya Sabha passed the Dam Safety Bill, 2019. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 2 August, 2019.


  • According to 2019 data available with the National Register of Large Dams, there are currently  5,745 large dams in India, of which 293 are over 100 years old. Besides, 1,041 dams are between 50 and 100 years old.
  • According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the ageing of dam assets warrants serious concern on their safety aspects in terms of meeting prevalent norms.
  • Ageing dams may also serve as a cause of concern for people living in the areas nearby.
  • When a dam breaks, it impacts the entire ecology. The safety of dams is an important issue. Safety of dams is important for safeguarding huge public investment in critical physical infrastructure, as well as for ensuring continuity of benefits derived from dam projects and national water security.
  • The Bill provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dams for prevention of disaster caused by dam failure and creation of an institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning.
  • There will be four layers of monitoring — two at the central level and two at the state level — to ensure dam safety.
  • A National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) will be set up at the central level, which will be headed by CWC chairman, and include 10 representatives of central government not below the rank of joint secretary, nominated by the Centre, and seven representatives of state government.
  • A National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) shall also be established within a period of 60 days, which will implement policy, guidelines and standards evolved by NCDS. Any decision taken by the NDSA shall be binding upon all the parties.
  • At the state level, each state government shall establish a State Dam Safety Organisation (SDSO), which shall be constituted within a period of 180 days.
  • The SDSO shall keep perpetual surveillance, carry out inspections and monitor the operation and maintenance of specified dams falling under their jurisdiction. States will also have to constitute a State Committee on Dam Safety.
  • The bill will cover all dams constructed before or after the commencement of this Act, which are above 15 metres in height, measured from the lowest portion of the general foundation area to the top of the dam, or between 10 metres and 15 metres in height.
  • The bill provides for stringent penalties in case of violations. If anybody is found obstructing any officer or employee of the central government or the state government or person authorised by National Committee or Authority or the state committee or the SDSO in discharge of functions under this Act, or refuses to comply with any direction given by them, shall face a maximum of two years jail, or a fine, or both.
  • Action will also be taken if the offence is committed by a government or government official, company or corporate, officials of the company.


  • It is also important in the emerging scenarios of India’s water crisis, linked with its growing population as well as climate change.
  • It was to address these issues that the government decided way back in 1987 to draft India’s first dam safety law.
  • The Dam Safety bill has been in the making for the last 34 years. It has gone through several back and forths since then.
  • It was introduced in the Lok Sabha for the first time in August 2010 but was withdrawn following several changes recommended by the standing committee where it was referred.
  • A modified bill was introduced subsequently introduced but it lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha. The bill was introduced afresh in the lower house again in 2019.

Need of law:

  • One of the worst disasters took place in Gujarat in 1979 when the Machhu dam collapsed resulting in the loss of thousands of lives.
  • Following the disaster, several states and public sector undertakings (PSUs) that own dams in the country set up their own dam safety organisations (DSOs), and have taken up measures for ensuring dam safety in their respective jurisdictions.
  • Some 18 states and five dam-owning organisations — National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, Bhakra Beas Management Board, Damodar Valley Corporation, Kerala State Electricity Board and Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam — have created their own DSOs.
  • In the absence of a central law, however, the safety regulations vary from state to state.

State and Central subject:

  • Though water is under the state list, the Centre has brought the legislation under Article 246 of the Constitution read with Entry 56 and Entry 97 Of List I in the Union list.
  • Article 246 empowers Parliament to legislate on any matter enumerated in List I of the Union list in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Entry 56 allows Parliament to make laws on the regulation of inter-state rivers and river valleys if it declares such regulation to be expedient in public interest.
  • Entry 97 allows Parliament to legislate on any other matter not enumerated in List II or List III including any tax not mentioned in either of those Lists.
  • Bill was not intended to encroach upon the states’ rights on their waters, dam ownership or maintenance, or even resources like power, but only seeks to ensure the safety of dams across the country and prevent dam-related disasters that result in great loss to life and property.

Way Ahead

  • The following functions related to Dam Safety aspects need to be strengthened:
    • New acceptability criteria need to be evolved for the present and future dams.
    • Dam safety reviews and MIS for Dams including Dam registers online databases.
    • Technology acquisitions and dissemination on Dam safety to State Govts / Organisations.
    • Dam break studies, glacial break studies and preparation of emergency Action Plans
    • Monitoring implementation of Dam Safety Legislation
    • Technology upgradation for rehabilitation of distressed dams in efficient manner
    • Setup, through legislations, State and Central Dam Safety Services


Indian Citizenship

The Hindu

GS 2: Polity


  • More than six lakh Indians renounced citizenship in the past five years, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Lok Sabha.
    • The reason for a large number of Indians surrendering their citizenship was not stated in the reply.


  • Revised Form XXII under Citizenship Rules: In 2018, the MHA revised Form XXII under Citizenship Rules for declaration of renunciation of citizenship, which, for the first time, included a column on “circumstances/reasons due to which applicant intends to acquire foreign citizenship and renounce Indian citizenship”.
  • Simplification of the process: Recently, the MHA had simplified the process and provisions were made for the applicants to upload documents online and an upper limit of 60 days was fixed for the renunciation process to be completed.

Figures about the renuncialtion:

  • Global Wealth Migration Review report: In 2019, India came second only to China when it came to high net worth individuals (HNIs) leaving the country.
    • As many as 7,000 HNIs left India in 2019.
  • 2019 being a peak year: According to the data, the highest number of people gave up their Indian citizenship in 2019, whereas the lowest did in 2020.
    • The latter’s low rate can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 2021 saw the steepest spike: Indians giving up their citizenship as worldwide travel and outdoor restrictions started to ease.
  • Country wise data: About 40% of the citizenship renunciation requests come from the United States, followed by Australia and Canada, which amount to a chunk of around 30% of such requests.

Reasons behind Indians giving up their citizenship:

  • Privileges: Majority of the Indians do it because of the privileges they get using the passports of other countries.
  • World passport index: India stands at the 69th number on the passport power rank according to the world passport index.
    • When comparing it with other countries – the rank of Australia is 3rd, USA is 5th, Singapore is 6th and Canada is 7th. At the top are UAE on number 1 and New Zealand on number 2.
  • Visa-free access: The higher the passport index ranking, the better access they get to travel visa-free to many countries.
  • Exempted from bureaucratic delays: They are also exempted from bureaucratic delays in the immigration process which is beneficial for traders and businessmen.


Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

Indian Express

GS 3: Indian Economy & Related Issues

Growth & Development


  • IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 55.9 in October to 57.6 in November.
  • The Indian manufacturing sector continued to expand strongly in November, as an accelerated rise in sales supported the fastest upturn in production for nine months.
  • This signalled the strongest improvement in the health of the sector for ten months.


  • It is an index of the prevailing direction of economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors.
  • It is an economic indicator, which is derived after monthly surveys of different companies.
  • There are two types of PMI — Manufacturing PMI and Services PMI.
  • A combined index is also made using both manufacturing PMI and services PMI.