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June 18, 2019
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June 20, 2019
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19 June Current Affairs

It’s off with the steel and on with concrete flyover plan

In News:

In place of a steel flyover, the city may get a concrete one.

Details:

The Bangalore Development Authority is planning to revive the project and cut short the alignment of the original flyover, between Basaveshwara Circle and Esteem Mall after Hebbal.

It will interlink with another controversial project: the proposed elevated corridor network, which has been taken up by the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd., said sources in the BDA.

“The BDA has approached a private consultancy, which is preparing a detailed project report”.

Delhi goes looking for giraffes in Thailand zoos

In News:

The National Zoological Park, better known as Delhi zoo, has not had a single giraffe for the last four years.

Details:

The zoo authorities have now written to three zoos in Thailand for the animal through an exchange programme.

Thailand has 24 giraffes in seven of its zoos and the NZP has asked for five of them.

In 2015, Delhi zoo’s last giraffe, eight-year-old Ankit, died after suffering a heart attack and kidney failure.

The letters have been sent along with a list of Delhi zoo’s surplus animals, including blackbucks and spotted deer.

“We have an enclosure ready for the giraffes. It has been cleaned and prepared”.

Hearing via video conference begins at new court complex

In News:

The new court complex at Vidyanagar in Hubballi, which has advanced amenities, including fully air-conditioned court halls, has now begun hearing cases through the facility of video conference.

Details:

The first such hearing in the new court complex was conducted with two prisoners at the Sub Jail being produced before the court through video conferencing.

First Additional District Judge conducted the hearing through video conferencing after undertrials at the Sub Jail were produced before him.

The facility of video conferencing at courts was beneficial as it would do away with the requirement of bringing undertrials to courts under security. It would also help in disposing of the cases quickly.

TS, A.P. cooperation to cover more areas

In News:

Both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments have decided to work in tandem and “you will see the results in all fields shortly. The decision was unanimous”.

Details:

Mr. Rao said the two States had already initiated the process of mutual cooperation not only in the case of Secretariat buildings, but irrigation sector to exploit about 5,000 tmcft water available to them in Krishna and Godavari rivers. Eager to take water to all dry land areas in Andhra Pradesh, its Chief Minister has deputed a delegation of senior irrigation officials from the State to meet their Telangana counterparts in Hyderabad.

This apart, both the governments have decided to work in close cooperation in various other spheres like movement of police forces across borders for occasions like providing security to Ganesh festival in Hyderabad.

The Chief Minister also said that the cooperation of Telangana extended with Karnataka and Maharashtra which was evident from receipt and supply of river water by Telangana and Karnataka on three occasions.

Kaleswaram will turn out to be the world’s larges multi-stage lift irrigation scheme constructed in the shortest time.

Uptick for India on sanitation in UN report

In News:

India has made great gains in providing basic sanitation facilities since the start of the millennium, accounting for almost two-thirds of the 650 million people globally who stopped practising open defecation between 2000 and 2017.

Details:

However, a monitoring report by UN organisations released shows that there has been absolutely no growth in the population with access to piped water facilities over that period, while large inequalities remain between rural and urban areas.

As for drinking water, the Joint Monitoring Programme report by UNICEF and WHO shows India has increased the percentage of its population with access to a protected drinking water source less than 30 minutes away, from 79% in 2000 to 93% in 2017.

However, the percentage of households getting piped water has remained stagnant at 44% over the 17-year period.

In rural India, only 32% of the population has access to piped water, less than half of the 68% who have access in urban India.

“Drinking water is now the highest priority of the development agenda for this government”. The contours of a new scheme, tentatively called Nal Se Jal, are being drafted this month.

With regard to sanitation, India’s record has been better. The country is responsible for almost single-handedly dragging the world towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal of ending open defecation. The South Asian region, including India, accounted for almost three-fourths of the population who stopped defecating in the open between 2000 and 2017, according to the report. Of the 2.1 billion people who gained access to basic sanitation services over this time period globally, 486 million live in India.

“India’s Swachh Bharat mission has been an example and inspiration to other countries”. “Nigeria sent a delegation to study the programme… our programme had four reasons for its success: political leadership, public financing, partnerships and people’s participation.”

In rural India, only 32% of the population have access to piped water, less than half of the 68% who have access in urban India.

The millions of new toilets which mark the progress of the Swachh Bharat mission are, however, producing large amounts of solid and liquid waste that India simply does not have the ability to treat and dispose of safely. According to the report, only 30% of the country’s waste water is treated at plants providing at least secondary treatment, in comparison to an 80% global average.

“Solid and liquid waste management will be the focus of Swachh Bharat phase 2. We will launch the roadmap and strategy for that programme next month”.

“The human right to sanitation implies that people not only have a right to a hygienic toilet but also have a right not to be negatively affected by unmanaged faecal waste. This is most relevant to poor and marginalised groups who tend to be disproportionately affected by other people’s unmanaged faecal sludge and sewage.”

India to be most populous by 2027: UN

In News:

India is set to overtake China as the most populous country by 2027 and will have almost 1.64 billion inhabitants by 2050, says a United Nations report, adding that South Asia’s opportunity to reap the “demographic dividend” will peak by 2047.

Details:

Globally, people aged above 65 are the fastest growing age group, putting pressure on social protection systems as the proportion of the working-age population shrinks.

273 million more:

According to the World Population Prospects 2019 report, India is expected to add 273 million people by 2050, which will be the largest national increase in the world. China, on the other hand, is expected to become smaller, dropping from its current 1.43 billion people to approximately 1.4 billion by 2050.

However, while India may have the highest absolute increase in numbers, its rate of growth is slowing. The Central and the Southern Asia region, of which India is a part, is expected to see a 25% increase in population between now and 2050.

The rate of population growth is the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where the fertility rate stand at 4.6 births per woman over a lifetime. The region is expected to double its population by mid-century. Nigeria is expected to add 200 million people over the next three decades and overtake the U.S. to become the third most populous nation.

Moving from geographical areas to age cohorts, India is still among the countries where the working-age population (25-64 years) is growing faster than other groups, creating an opportunity for accelerated economic growth. However, the “demographic dividend” will peak by 2047 in the region, meaning that countries such as India must rush to invest in education and health, especially for young people, the report says.

Globally, it’s the post-working-age group that is growing the fastest. By 2050, one in six people will be above 65, compared with one in 11 people in 2019. In 2018, for the first time in history, people above 65 outnumbered children under five years of age. By 2050, the number of people over 80 is expected to triple to 426 million.

This trend has also led to falling proportions of working-age people to support an ageing population. By 2050, almost 50 countries are expected to have less than two working-age people to support every person above 65.

Impact of ageing:

“These low values underscore the potential impact of population ageing on the labour market and economic performance as well as the fiscal pressures that many countries will face in the coming decades as they seek to build and maintain public systems of health care, pensions and social protection for older persons”.

EC issues notices for Rajya Sabha bypolls

In News:

Even as the Congress has approached the Supreme Court against the conduct of byelections to two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat separately, the Election Commission issued separate “notices of election”.

Details:

The election is scheduled for July 5 to fill vacancies that have arisen after BJP president and Home Minister Amit Shah and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani resigned from the Rajya Sabha on being elected to the Lok Sabha. Both were elected to the Upper House from Gujarat in 2017.

Earlier, Gujarat’s Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the EC’s decision to conduct separate polling for the two seats, a move which has diminished the Congress’s chances of winning at least one of them. The EC said in a statement on June 15 that vacancies for bypolls to all legislatures are considered as “separate vacancies” and separate polls are held, though they could be held the same day and at the same time.

“When the EC took similar decisions in 1994 and 2009, the Congress had not protested”.

Lunar orbiter spacecraft arrives in Sriharikota

The mother orbiter spacecraft of Mission Chandrayaan-2 has reached the launch port of Sriharikota from Bengaluru and will soon be joined by its lander and rover companions.

Their epic journey of 3.84 lakh km to Moon, to land on it and explore its surface will begin on July 15.

The orbiter was despatched from the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre and reached the launch port of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

Grey wolf from India killed in Bangladesh

In News:

An Indian grey wolf that was recently killed by farmers in Bangladesh, where the carnivore was believed to have been wiped out eight decades ago, could have been the one that was caught on camera in a part of the Sundarbans in West Bengal two years ago.

Details:

The grey wolf ( Canis lupus pallipes ) was killed in the first week of June by farmers near the Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans because it had attacked their livestock.

In April 2017, a wildlife photographer had shot a photograph of a lone wolf in the Indian part of the Sundarbans.

“It is possible that the one that got killed in Bangladesh is the same wolf spotted in West Bengal two years ago, as both individuals were male”.

Zoologists collected DNA samples from the animal to confirm it as a grey wolf.

PIL filed in SC seeking an expert team

In News:

PIL in SC says the disease is curable and that most of the deaths are occurring due to lack of medical facilities.

Details:

Even as the death toll of children due to the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) was rising, a public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking to urgently constitute a team of medical experts for treatment of children suffering from the disease.

The petition filed by advocates Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani has stated that there is complete failure of State machinery to deal with the outbreak of AES or ‘Chamki Bukhar’.

“There is no availability of doctors, beds, intensive care units, medical professionals to deal with an epidemic level situation which has resulted in more than 126 reported death of children in Bihar,” the plea said.

The petition stated that the disease is completely curable and that most of the deaths are occurring due to lack of medical facilities. It also sought a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the family members of the deceased.

Nod to ration-in-kind

Two years after withdrawing the ration-in-kind policy for military officials posted in peace areas, the Centre on Tuesday restored the provision. “The government of India has approved the proposal of the MoD [Ministry of Defence] for restoration of ‘ration in kind’ to the defence officers posted in peace areas,” a senior MoD official said, adding that the Ministry of Finance has given its nod.

 

 

 

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