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India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Agni 1 missile

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New Delhi: India has successfully carried out the test of indigenously built nuclear-capable Agni-I missile, capable of hitting a target at a distance of 700 kms, from a test range off the Odisha coast as part of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) training exercise.

The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 10:02 a.m. on Friday from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), The Hindu reported.

The trial was “part of a training exercise by Strategic Forces Command of Indian Army”, defence sources said, noting it was a “perfect launch“, adding that “The exercise was conducted in a perfect manner and the trial was successful.”

“The launch was undertaken as a part of periodic training activity by SFC to further consolidate operational readiness,” they said.

Agni-I missile is equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)