Ufa (Russia), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attended the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa with the leaders of the bloc expected to start a membership process for India and Pakistan.
“A historic first. The Indian PM attends SCO Heads of State Plenary Session in preparation for joining as member state,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
In what is expected to be a major development at the Ufa summit, SCO leaders are set to pass a resolution on starting the procedures of granting India and Pakistan full membership of the organization.
Founded in 2001, the SCO has China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its full members.
Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners. (IANS)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)