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June 2, 2020
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01 June Current Affairs

UP Government implements Herbal Roads Project

In News:

The Uttar Pradesh Government is to implement Herbal Roads Project in a stretch of 800 km in the state..

Details:

Under the project, the state government is to plant trees that have medicinal values on either sides of the roads. The herbal trees to be planted include Neem, Peepal, Sehjan, etc. The plants will provide raw materials to medicines and will also help in preventing erosion of land.

The 800 km road for the project has been selected along national and state highway. The highways will keep bacterial and air-borne diseases at bay.

Significance:

The project was launched in 18 districts. Such an initiative has already been implemented in Delhi-Yamunotri State Highway 57. Around 34 varieties of herbal trees are to be planted.

The project also aims to reduce the growth of non-native species such as bonsai and cactus in homes.

Benefits:

The Brahmi tree gives sharpness in memory, ashwagandha is used in general wellness. It is to be noted that Ashwagandha was recently included in the study to fight against COVID-19. It is also being looked as an alternative to Hydroxychloroquine.

Delimitation Commission holds meeting

In News:

The Delimitation Commission held a meeting to review the progress of directions that were provided during its meet in April, 2020.

Details:

The details of State Election Commissioner were received from the states of Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Assam. The Census data has also been received from the Registrar General.

What is Delimitation?

Delimitation is the act of redrawing the boundaries of state assembly and Lok Sabha seats with respect to the changes in population. The main objective of delimitation is to provide equal representatives in the legislative assembly and parliament to equal segments of population.

The Delimitation is conducted by the Delimitation Commission.

Delimitation Commission:

The Delimitation Act is brought about by the Parliament after every census under Article 82. The commission is made of Supreme Court Judge, Chief Election Commissioner and also state election commissioners of respective states.

The Delimitation exercise has been done four times. They were implemented in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002. The Last delimitation exercise was begun in 2002 and ended in 2008 based on 2001 census.

Why no delimitation in recent past?

The number of Lok Sabha seats allotted to a state is based on the ratio between that number and population of the state. However, under this provision, the states that took less interest in population control ended up having greater representations.

In 1976, during emergency period, the delimitation was suspended till 2001. This was later extended to 2026. Thus, recently no delimitation was carried in recent past.

22nd Financial Stability and Development Council meeting chaired by Finance Minister

In News:

The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman chaired Financial Stability and Development Council meet.

Details:

The meeting reviewed current domestic and global economic situation, financial vulnerabilities issues, liquidity of Micro financial institutions, Non-Banking Financial corporations, regulatory responses, etc. The council noted that COVID-19 posed a great threat to the global financial system and the timing of recovery is uncertain.

About the Council:

The financial stability and development council is an apex body constituted by GoI. The idea was mooted in 2008 by the Raghuram Rajan Committee. The Council was set up in 2010 by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee.

The council composes of Governor of RBI, chief economic advisor, secretaries and chairman of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority), PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority), IBBI (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India). The Finance Minister chairs the meeting.

Functions of the council:

The Council deals with issues such as financial sector development, financial stability, inter-regulatory coordination, financial inclusion, financial literacy.

Apart from these, the council also coordinates with India’s International interfaces such as Financial Action Task Force. The Financial Minister has powers to change the functions of the council from time to time. Currently, the council is working to deal with financial issues created by COVID-19.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

In News:

Every year, the United Nations celebrates International Day of UN Peacekeepers on May 29. This year the day is being celebrated under the theme

Theme: Women in Peacekeeping: A key to Peace

Details:

The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is celebrated to honour more than 3,900 peacekeepers that lost their lives serving under the United Nations. This year their challenges have increased as they not only protect the people but are also coping with COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Scenario:

There are more than 1 million men and women that are serving 72 UN peacekeeping operations. The UN peacekeeping forces deploy more than 95,000 police, military and civilian personnel in around 13 operations.

Significance of the theme:

This year the theme marks the 20th anniversary of adoption of UN security council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

Why May 29?

The first UN Peace Keeping mission was established on May 29, 1948. The Peace keeping mission was established to monitor the Armistice Agreement that was signed between Israel and Arab.

Armistice Agreement:

Armistice Agreement is an agreement that is signed to stop fighting. Armistice Day is marked on November 11. This is to mark the signing of treaties between allies of World war I and German Empire.

Desert Locusts

Desert Locusts normally live and breed in semi-arid/desert regions.

Locusts aren’t dangerous as long as they are individual hoppers/moths or small isolated groups of insects, in what is called the “solitary phase”.

It is when their population grows to large numbers the resultant crowding induces behavioral changes and transformation from the “solitary” to “gregarious” phase that they start forming swarms.

A single swarm contains up to 40-80 million adults in one square km and these can travel up to 150 km in one day.

The above large-scale breeding and swarm formation, however, takes place only when conditions turn very favorable in their natural habitat, i.e. desert and semi-arid regions.

For laying eggs, they require bare ground, which is rarely found in areas with dense vegetation.

So, in India they are more likely to breed in Rajasthan than in the Indo-Gangetic plains or Godavari and Cauvery delta.

The Union Agriculture Ministry’s Locust Warning Organisation then observed “low-density I & II instar gregarious/transient hoppers” at Jaisalmer and Suratgarh in Rajasthan and Fazilka in Punjab adjoining the Indo-Pakistan border.

Subsequently, there has been arrival of swarms from the main spring-breeding areas.

And these swarms have come not only to western Rajasthan, but also moved to the eastern parts of the state and even Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Much of this movement, it seems, was aided by the strong westerly winds from Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal.

Telecom regulator moots national numbering plan

In News:

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on “ensuring adequate numbering resources for fixed line and mobile services”.

Background:

The Telecom Department had asked TRAI to furnish its recommendations on the strategies of National Digital Communications Policy which also talks of “ensuring adequate numbering resources, by developing unified numbering plan for fixed line and mobile services.”

Key recommendations:

There needs to be no change in dialling plan for fixed-to-fixed, mobile-to-fixed, and mobile-to-mobile calls.

For creation of sufficient numbering space, dial all fixed to mobile calls with the prefix “0”. In the current scheme of things, “0″ is prefixed for calls made from fixed lines to mobiles in another service area.

Need for a revised and new National Numbering Plan (NNP) to free up unutilised capacities, to create space for mobiles services.

All the SIM-based Machine-to-Machine connections using 10-digit mobile numbering series should be shifted to the 13-digit numbering series allocated by Telecom Department for M2M communication at the earliest.

About TRAI:

It is a statutory body set up under section 3 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997.

It is the regulator of the telecommunications sector in India.

The TRAI Act was amended by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.

Important functions:

TRAI regularly issues orders and directions on various subjects such as tariffs, interconnections, quality of service, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability.

Composition:

It consists of a Chairperson and not more than two full-time members and not more than two part-time members.

They are appointed by the Central Government and the duration for which they can hold their office is three years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

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