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01 June Current Affairs

NGT stays linkage of Godavari, Krishna and Penna

In News:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued an order staying the Andhra Pradesh Government’s scheme to link Godavari Krishna and Penna Rivers of the State.

Details:

NGT ordered that Ministry of Environment should submit a report on it within a month.

The Tribunal said that the State could not go ahead with the project without getting clearance from the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Tribunal order:

A Bench of the tribunal consisting of chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, judicial members Justice S.P.Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan and expert member Nagin Nanda in an order “restrained” Andhra Pradesh from proceeding further with the project till acquired environmental clearance, consent to establish and operate the project under provisions of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

The tribunal ordered the Regional office of the Union Environment Ministry to inspect the river linkage project along with the Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Board and submit a factual report within a month.

Source: The Hindu

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)

In News:

The Dakshina Kannada district administration has ordered a halt to sand extraction from rivers in the Coastal Regulation Zone for three months.

Details:

This ban on sand extraction is aimed at facilitating fish breeding activities during the monsoon.

Sand dunes in the CRZ area were permitted to be extracted by traditional sand miners and the extracted sand was being provided for construction activities in the district.

Reason:

As the monsoon is fast approaching, continuation of sand extraction in rivers would have an adverse impact on fish breeding and hence, the ban on sand extraction.

About CRZ:

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the 2019 Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, replacing the existing CRZ norms of 2011.

  • The new CRZ norms have been issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • The new CRZ norms aim to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles.

Objective of CRZ Regulations 2019:

  • To promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account the natural hazards such as increasing sea levels due to global warming.
  • To conserve and protect the environment of coastal stretches and marine areas, besides livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities in the coastal area.

Source: The Hindu

Below normal rainfall likely in northwest, northeast: IMD

A week before the onset of the southwest monsoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a “normal” rainy season, with the country as a whole set to receive 96% of the long period average (LPA) rainfall.

However, northwest India will get 94% of the average, while the northeast will only receive 91% of average rainfall, putting both these regions in the “below normal” category.

During a “normal” monsoon, the country gets 96% to 104% of the LPA. The forecast probability of rainfall falling within this range was 41%.

If the total rainfall is between 90% and 96% of the LPA, it falls in the “below normal” category.

Regionwise, the season’s rainfall is likely to be 94% of the LPA over northwest India, 100% over central India, 97% over south Peninsula, and 91% over northeast India, all with a model error of ± 8 %.

The IMD seemed to allay fears of the El Nino phenomenon playing havoc with the summer’s rainfall, although it noted that “the current weak El Nino conditions may continue during the monsoon season with reduced intensity”.

What is El Nino:

El Nino is a climatic cycle characterised by high air pressure in the Western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern. In normal conditions, strong trade winds travel from east to west across the tropical Pacific, pushing the warm surface waters towards the western Pacific. The surface temperature could witness an increase of 8 degrees Celsius in Asian waters. At the same time, cooler waters rise up towards the surface in the eastern Pacific on the coasts of Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. This process called upwelling aids in the development of a rich ecosystem.

What causes El Nino?

El Nino sets in when there is anomaly in the pattern. The westward-blowing trade winds weaken along the Equator and due to changes in air pressure, the surface water moves eastwards to the coast of northern South America. The central and eastern Pacific regions warm up for over six months and result in an El Nino condition. The temperature of the water could rise up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Warmer surface waters increase precipitation and bring above-normal rainfall in South America, and droughts to Indonesia and Australia.

What are El Nino’s effects?

  • El Nino affects global weather. It favours eastern Pacific hurricanes and tropical storms. Record and unusual rainfall in Peru, Chile and Ecuador are linked to the climate pattern.
  • El Nino reduces upwelling of cold water, decreasing the uplift of nutrients from the bottom of the ocean. This affects marine life and sea birds. The fishing industry is also affected.
  • Drought caused by El Nino can be widespread, affecting southern Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Countries dependent on agriculture are affected.
  • Australia and Southeast Asia get hotter.
  • A recent WHO report on the health consequences of El Nino forecasts a rise in vector-borne diseases, including those spread by mosquitoes, in Central and South America. Cycles of malaria in India are also linked to El Nino.

Source: The Hindu

Admiral Karambir Singh takes over as Navy chief

In News:

Admiral Karambir Singh assumed office as the 24th Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS).

Details:

He took over from Admiral Sunil Lanba who stepped down upon retirement.

Admiral Singh was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command, headquartered in Visakhapatnam.

“Admiral Singh is the most senior naval aviator. He is the first helicopter pilot of the Navy to become the CNS”.

During his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 39 years, Admiral Singh served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments.

Appointment questioned:

Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, chief of the Andaman and Nicobar-based tri-Service Command, has approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), questioning the appointment as he was the most senior naval officer after Admiral Lanba.

However, the Defence Ministry rejected his petition. Following this, the Tribunal asked the government to submit all files related to the selection process. Early this week, the AFT set July 17 as the next date of hearing as the government sought more time and allowed Admiral Singh to assume charge.

Source: The Hindu

SC asks Maharashtra to revise PG merit list sans EWS quota

In News:

The Supreme Court directed the Maharashtra government to complete counselling process and come up with revised merit list for admission in postgraduate medical courses after removing seats allotted under 10% Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota to 25 students.

Details:

A Vacation Bench headed by Justice M.R. Shah asked the State to complete the counselling process by June 4. The court also pulled up the government for overreaching its order against implementation of 10% EWS quota in PG medical seats. The apex court had stayed the Maharashtra government’s notifications issued in February and March implementing 10% EWS reservation for PG medical courses this academic year.

“When this court had specifically directed that the notifications dated 12.02.2019 and 07.03.2019 extending the benefit of reservation to the extent of 10% to economically weaker sections, inter alia, in post graduate medical courses shall not be applicable for admission for the academic year 2019-20 unless the Medical Council of India increases the number of seats (which has not taken place) and once the admission of all candidates allotted seats during the previous rounds under EWS category are cancelled and the category of all EWS candidates are converted into open category, necessary consequences of reshuffling must follow”.

About EWS:

The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal for introduction of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty- Fourth Amendment) Bill, extending 10% quota to “the economically weaker sections in the general category who are not covered by any of the existing schemes of reservation”.

The bill is designed to amend the Constitution to extend 10% reservation in direct recruitment in  government jobs and for admission in higher educational institutions to “economically weaker” sections among all castes and communities, Christians and Muslims included, who are not eligible under the existing quotas.

The proposed amendment Bill will define Economically Weaker Section (EWS) as one having:

  • Annual household income below Rs 8 lakh.
  • Agriculture land below 5 acres.
  • Residential house below 1000 sqft.
  • Residential plot below 100 yards in notified municipality.
  • Residential plot below 200 yards in non-notified municipality area.

‘Jal Shakti’ Ministry

In News:

A new ‘Jal Shakti’ Ministry, in which the erstwhile Ministries of Water Resources and Drinking Water and Sanitation will be merged, has been formed with Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at its helm.

Details:

The remit of the Ministry will encompass issues ranging from international and inter-State water disputes, the Namami Gange project, the flagship initiative to clean the Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries and the provision of clean drinking water.

The project to clean the Ganga was moved from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Ministry of Water Resources.

Mr. Shekhawat said that the priority would be to provide clean drinking water to everyone.

Uniform Civil Code

In News:

The Delhi High Court issued notice to the Centre on a petition seeking framing of a uniform civil code to promote “unity, fraternity and national integration.”

Details:

Mr. Upadhyay has asked for direction to the Central government to constitute a Judicial Commission or a High Level Expert Committee to draft a Uniform Civil Code in the spirit of Article 44 of the Constitution within three months.

Article 44: The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

 

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