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01 July Current Affairs

Nagaland to initiate its own version of NRC

In News:

Nagaland has decided to start a variant of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that neighbouring Assam is updating.

Details:

Nagaland Home Commissioner issued a notification for the setting up of the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).

Master list:

It is aimed at preparing a master list of all indigenous peoples and checking the issuance of fake indigenous inhabitant certificates.

Designated teams will fan out to each village and urban ward from July 10, less than a month before Assam is to publish the final NRC.

To be monitored by the Home Commissioner, Nagaland’s exercise for collecting information on locals and non-locals has a 60-day deadline. The RIIN, according to Mr. Ramakrishnan, will be prepared after an extensive survey with the help of a village-wise and ward-wise list of indigenous inhabitants based on official records.

It will be prepared under the supervision of each district administration.

The State government, officials said, had directed all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to ensure that the teams were constituted by name within a week of the publication of the notification, make the information about the teams public, and communicate to the village council chairmen, Village Development Board secretaries, ward authorities, tribal hohos, church authorities, and NGOs.

Hoho is the apex body of each Naga group.

The survey teams have been instructed to visit each house and make a list of indigenous inhabitants living there. Each family member will be listed in the village of their original residence and mention will be made of any member living elsewhere.

The format for making the list will mention “permanent residence and present residence” separately. Aadhaar number, wherever available, will also be recorded.

The list will be published in the respective villages and wards which will then be authenticated by village and ward authorities under the supervision of the district administration. Each list will then be signed by the team concerned as also the village and ward authorities.

Deadline for claims, objections:

The provisional lists will then be published in the villages and wards and also on the websites of the district and the State government on September 11. Time will be given till October 10 for any claims and objections after the publication of the provisional lists.

The DCs will then settle the claims and objections based on official records and evidence produced. The list will be finalised after giving the claimants an opportunity of being heard, and each indigenous inhabitant will be given a unique identity card.

Opportunity will also be given to the person against whose name an objection has been made, according to the notification.

Officials said the RIIN process will be completed on or before December 10 and copies of the final list will be provided to every village and ward besides being placed at the district and State levels.

“No fresh indigenous inhabitant certificate will be issued after the RIIN is completed except for children born to the State’s indigenous inhabitants who will be issued indigenous certificates along with birth certificates. The RIIN database will be updated accordingly,” said an official involved with the exercise.

The RIIN will also be integrated with the online system for Inner-Line Permit, a temporary document non-inhabitants are required to possess for entry into and travel in Nagaland.

Centre to celebrate two years of GST

In News:

The Centre will celebrate two years of the Goods and Services Tax.

Details:

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur will preside over the event.

Monday also marks the first day of the trial run of the new return-filing system, announced by the GST Council at its latest meeting. It is expected to simplify the process.

It will increase the information available with the government to curb leakages.

The Centre will also introduce a cash ledger system that will merge the earlier 20 heads into five major heads. There will be only one cash ledger for tax, interest, penalty, fee and others, the government said in a statement.

“The introduction of the GST is a game changer for the Indian economy as it has replaced a multi-layered, complex indirect tax structure with a simple, transparent and technology-driven tax regime”.

It will increase the information available with the government to curb leakages. The Centre will also introduce a cash ledger system that will merge the earlier 20 heads into five major heads. There will be only one cash ledger for tax, interest, penalty, fee and others, the government said in a statement. “The introduction of the GST is a game changer for the Indian economy as it has replaced a multi-layered, complex indirect tax structure with a simple, transparent and technology-driven tax regime”.

Proposal to upgrade waste plant cleared

Mangaluru City Corporation can now upgrade its solid waste management plant at Pachchanady as the State government has given administrative approval to a Rs. 12.56-crore project under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Navy lines up mega deals for helicopters, submarines

In News:

The Navy has lined up several multi-billion dollar deals for helicopters, long-range maritime patrol aircraft (LRMPA) and submarines which are in important stages of the procurement.

Details:

The deals for 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters (MRH) and 10 more P-8I LRMPA are at an advanced stage with the U.S. through their Foreign Military Sales route. The process for 111 Naval Utility Helicopters and six conventional submarines under Project-75I has kicked off through the much-delayed Strategic Partnership (SP) model.

“The case for 24 MRH is at the cost negotiation stage and is expected to be concluded by September,” a Defence source said. In April, the U.S. formally approved the sale potentially valued at $2.6 billion.

The Navy has moved a proposal for 10 more Boeing made P-8Is estimated to cost over $3 billion as a follow-on case to the 12 aircraft acquired earlier. The proposal has been cleared by the Defence Ministry’s Capital Acquisition Plan Categorisation Higher Committee. “The file will now go to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for approval,” the source said.

The Navy had initially procured eight P-8Is in a $2.1-billion deal in 2009. It exercised the optional clause for four more in a deal worth over $1billion signed in 2016. The aircraft are part of the 312A Naval Air Squadron based at Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu.

“The process for selection of qualified Indian private partners will begin shortly,” another Defence source said. The Navy has already discussed the qualitative requirements with the OEMs and as per the SP model, the Request for Proposal (RFP) has to be issued to the Indian SP partner.

The P-75I for six submarines will be the second deal to be processed under this model. Early this month, the Navy issued the Expression of Interest for shortlisting potential Indian strategic partners for the project estimated over Rs. 45,000 crore.

Rhino protection force deployed in Kaziranga

In News:

An 82-member special protection force trained to combat poachers and understand animal behaviour was deployed in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP).

Details:

“The SRPF is basically a tiger protection force named after the rhino since the threat of poaching is more for the one-horned herbivore. Their job profile includes protecting the striped cat since Kaziranga is also a tiger reserve,” KNP Director said.

The process of setting up the special force was started in 2015. The recruits were given the appointment letter in July 2018 after which they were trained at the Forest Guard School in eastern Assam’s Makum. The recruits also underwent weapons training at the 9th Assam Police Battalion in Nagaon district.

The 430 sq.km. KNP encompasses eight ranges under two wildlife divisions — Eastern Assam and Biswanath — straddling the river Brahmaputra. Of the 82 SRPF personnel, 60 have been assigned ranges under the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division on the southern bank of the river.

WHO brings in norms on self-care interventions

In News:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched its first guidelines on self-care interventions for health in response to an estimate that by 2035 the world will face a shortage of nearly 13 million healthcare workers and the fact that currently at least 400 million people worldwide lack access to the most essential health services.

Details:

In its first volume, the guidelines focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Some of the interventions include self-sampling for human papillomavirus ( HPV) and sexually transmitted infections, self-injectable contraceptives, home-based ovulation predictor kits, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) self-testing and self-management of medical abortion.

Timely intervention:

These guidelines look at the scientific evidence for health benefits of certain interventions that can be done outside the conventional sector, though sometimes with the support of a health-care provider. They do not replace high-quality health services nor are they a short cut to achieving universal health coverage.

“We foresee a future where around 1 in 5 of the world’s population will be living in settings that are experiencing humanitarian crises, this when the world is witnessing growth in new diagnostics, devices, drugs and digital innovations which are transforming how people interact with the health sector,’’ notes WHO.

Explaining what self-care means, the organisation says it is the “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider”.

It adds that self-care interventions represent a significant push towards new and greater self-efficacy, autonomy and engagement in health for self-carers and caregivers.

“In launching this guideline, WHO recognises how self-care interventions could expand access to health services, including for vulnerable populations. People are increasingly active participants in their own healthcare and have a right to a greater choice of interventions that meets their needs across their lifetime, but also should be able to access, control and have affordable options to manage their health and well-being,’’ it said.

WHO noted that self-care is also a means for people who are negatively affected by gender, political, cultural and power dynamics, including those who are forcibly displaced, to have access to sexual and reproductive health services, as many people are unable to make decisions around sexuality and reproduction.

The guidelines, meanwhile, will be expanded to include other self-care interventions, including for prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases.

WHO is establishing a community of practice for self-care, and will be promoting research and dialogue in this area during the self-care month between June 24 and July 24.

‘World faces grave climate emergency’

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took his global message urging immediate climate action to officials gathered in the UAE.

He is calling on governments to stop building new coal plants by 2020, cut greenhouse emissions by 45% over the next decade and overhauling fossil fuel-driven economies.The world “is facing a grave climate emergency.”

L 98-59b – A new planet discovered

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a new planet, the tiniest of its finds so far. It is between the sizes of Mars and Earth and orbits a bright, cool, nearby star.

The planet is called L 98-59b because it sits in a nearby star system called L 98-59. It is 35 light-years from our solar system in the southern constellation Volans.

It  is around 80% of Earth’s size and about 10% smaller than the previous smallest planet discovered by TESS. Apart from L 98-59b, two other worlds orbit the same star. The two other worlds in the system, L 98-59c and L 98-59d.

These planets add to humanity’s still-small catalog of exoplanets similar in size to Earth.

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