10 August Current Affairs – Daily News

10 August Current Affairs – Daily News

CIVIL SNIPPETS

 

At Yamuna pilot project launch, CM credits BJP Union Minister #GS2 #Governance

 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal gave “90% credit” to Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for a pilot project to store Yamuna floodwaters in reservoirs along the floodplains in the city.

 

Earlier in the day, Mr. Kejriwal and Mr. Shekhawat inaugurated the pilot project, under which water overflowing from the Yamuna during monsoons will be stored in a large reservoir, which will help to recharge the groundwater.

 

The Chief Minister said that the Union Minister comes from a farming background and “it is a matter of happiness” that he immediately understood the Delhi government’s proposal.

 

The Delhi government had to get permission from the Central government for the project.

 

A 1.5 to 2 metre-deep pond, spread across 25 acre, will be built under the pilot project. “We have already acquired 10 acre and we expect to complete the work in the next 10 days,” said an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, which is heading the project.

 

“No construction or use of cement will be involved and regular flow of Yamuna will not be touched,” Mr.

 

Kejriwal had earlier said about the project.

 

The data from the pilot project, including percolation of water and its direction, would be analysed to take a call on expanding the project to other areas.

 

 

 

 

 

Home buyers can start bankruptcy cases against errant builders #GS2 #Governance

 

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a central law which empowered harassed home buyers to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against errant real estate builders. The judgment gains significance as many real estate builders have been under fire for incomplete projects leaving home buyers in dire straits.

 

A three-judge Bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman confirmed the constitutional validity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Act of August 2018, which gave home buyers the status of “financial creditors” with power to vote in the Committee of Creditors.

 

The Act had brought the home buyers on par with the creditor banks of the property builder. Prior to the law, the home buyers were often left in the lurch. With their dreams of owning a home shattered,

 

 

they were made to wait blindly for a solution to come up, either in the form of a completed apartment or a refund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the Amendment Act of 2018 came into existence, the assets of the bankrupt builder were divided among his employees, creditor banks and other operational creditors. Home buyers had hardly figured, though their hard-earned savings may have provided a major chunk of the housing project.

 

The Amendment Act allowed home buyers, as financial creditors, to trigger bankruptcy proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016 and have their “rightful place” on the Committee of Creditors (CoC). The CoC, by voting, makes important decisions on the future of the bankrupt builder. These calls include what to do with his assets and who should finish the pending housing projects.

 

The builders had challenged the Amendment Act. They said making home buyers financial creditors was like “forcibly inserting a square peg in a round hole.” The builders argued that home buyers were already armed with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), another piece of legislation which protected the interests of the individual investor in real estate projects.

 

Adding the Amendment Act to the armoury of the home buyers was like using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat, the builders argued.

 

Justice Nariman dismissed these contentions. The judge reasoned that the IBC and the RERA operate in different spheres and can be used harmoniously for the interest of home buyers. The IBC deals with the replacement of the bankrupt builder from the helm of affairs and hit upon a resolution plan to benefit all the stakeholders. The RERA’s purpose is to protect individual home buyers by requiring the promoter to strictly adhere to the purchase deal and complete the project within a stated period.

 

 

The builders said home buyers were a large, amorphous group. Their presence in the CoC would be a nuisance. Here, the judgment referred to the submissions made by Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, who had argued that home buyers finance from 50% to even 100% of a housing project. Their absence from the CoC and denying them a voice on future plans would be “manifestly arbitrary.”

 

The court further reasoned that no home buyer would frivolously move the National Company Law Tribunal under the IBC. This is because ironing out a resolution plan under the IBC is a long-drawn process.

 

“An allottee/home buyer who prefers an application under Section 7 of the Code takes the risk of his flat/apartment not being completed in the near future, in the event of there being a breach on the part of the developer. Under the Code, he may never get a refund of the entire principal, let alone interest…

 

On the other hand, if such allottee were to approach the Real Estate Regulatory Authority under the RERA, it is more than likely that the project would be completed early or full amount of refund and interest together with compensation and penalty, if any, would be awarded…

 

Thus, it is only an allottee who has completely lost faith in the management of the real estate developer who would come before the NCLT under the Code hoping that some other developer takes over and completes the project,” Justice Nariman reasoned.

 

The court further directed the Centre to fill up the vacancies in the NCLT and its appellate tribunals so as to deal with the rising number of bankruptcy litigation in the real estate sector. The government was ordered to file compliance affidavit in this regard within three months.

 

The court also ordered copies of the judgment to be sent to chief secretaries of States and Union Territories. Those States and Union Territories who have still not set up a Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Appellate Tribunal have been given three months to do it. The court would take up the issue in January 2020

 

 

 

‘Cancel licence of doctors who still conduct two-finger test’ #GS2 #Governance

 

As many as 1,500 survivors of rape and their families submitted a letter to the apex court demanding cancellation of licences of medical practitioners who still conduct the “humiliating two-finger test” despite a Supreme Court ban.

 

The letter was submitted by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan (RGA), a survivor-centric forum with more than 12,000 survivors of sexual violence and their families.

 

The two-finger test, to ascertain rape, was banned by the Supreme Court in 2013.

 

 

“The test was banned because not only does it violate a survivor’s right to privacy, but also because it is unscientific and tends to be used as evidence in court to shame the survivor of previous sexual history.

 

The forum has documented over 57 cases of such violations by medical practitioners,” the letter stated and demanded cancellation of licences of all medical practitioners conducting it.

 

Child rape

 

The RGA, in the letter, the Supreme Court for the suo motu public interest litigation initiated by the court on the rise in cases of child rape, “corresponding lack of infrastructure and delay in probe and trial of these cases”.

 

Cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children and sex trafficking are actually cases of serial rape of children, according to the letter.

 

However, data tracked in six States show that the police are registering these cases only under trafficking related laws and not under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012, which has more stringent and adequate procedures for speedy trial and rehabilitation,” the letter said.

 

RGA latter also said that minors, who became pregnant after rape, struggle to receive permission from the court for abortion.

 

The forum requested the court to have in place due procedures to ensure examination and treatment for at least three months and separate proforma to be developed for the cases of child rape.

 

According to the campaign, over in 202 cases it has dealt with, the survivors have neither received any interim nor final compensation even after conviction of the accused in the case.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Centre will not touch Article 371F’ #GS2 #Governance

 

The amendment of Article 370 pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, better known as P.S. Golay, assured the people that the Centre will not interfere with Article 371F which provides special status to the State.

 

Article 371F is a special feature for Sikkim and its people and there can be no question of its modification.

 

Mr. Golay also rejected any possibility of merger of Sikkim and Darjeeling hills, and said that Sikkim is protected by Article 371F of the Constitution, which is the result of the agreement in 1975 between the Union of India, the king of Sikkim and the State’s political parties.

 

‘No merger’

 

“Those demanding Gorkhaland for Darjeeling hills are doing so as per their constitutional right. It is for the Centre to decide on whether to agree with it or not. However, there is no question of its merger with Sikkim,” he said.

 

After the reorganisation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the political parties in Darjeeling hills have been demanding the status of a Union Territory.

 

He said that Article 371F is one of the key terms of the merger of Sikkim with India in 1975.

 

 

 

 

Maharashtra didn’t release water from dams in time, says report #GS2 #Governance

 

Despite indications of the Koyna, Warna and Radhanagri dams getting full in the last week of July, the administration did not release water, according to a report published by the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) on the floods in Kolhapur and Sangli districts in western Maharashtra.

 

An analysis based on the dam storage graphs from the Central Water Commission (CWC) shows that the three dams were almost 100% full by August 5.

 

The Radhanagri dam should have started releasing water even earlier as that dam was already close to 80% full by July 25.

 

If these dams had started releasing water from July 25, 2019, they would have had sufficient space during the first week of August 2019, when the districts received heavy rainfall and that would have helped reduce the floods rather than increase it, as the dams ended up doing,” said the report.

 

There has been above-normal rainfall in the Upper Krishna Basin in Maharashtra, which mainly includes the districts of Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara. In these three districts, the rainfall, as per the India Meteorological Department’s figures, has been 2068.5 mm (70% above normal), 480.7 mm (60% above normal) and 1028.1 mm (78% above normal) till 8:30 a.m. on August 8, 2019.

 

These districts have received rainfall much above average during August 1-8, with rainfall of 716.6 mm, 177.6 mm and 363.6 mm respectively — about 400% above normal.

 

The report pointed out the need to ensure that the water stored in the dams is judiciously released to make way for possibly high rainfall incidents in the coming weeks.

 

It said the capacity of our catchment areas to hold, absorb and store rainwater and recharge groundwater in a decentralised manner is reducing, due to the indiscriminate and mindless pursuit of development.

 

 

 

 

State in talks with VPT to develop Masula port #GS2 #Governance

 

The Andhra Pradesh State government has intensified efforts to rope in Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) as the developer of the Machilipatnam deep seaport, high-placed sources associated with the talks on selecting the new developers told The Hindu.

 

First-stage talks with VPT were completed in early July.

 

Meanwhile, the State government has dropped Navayuga Construction Company Limited as the developer of the Machilipatnam port, canceling the concession agreement signed in June 2010, according to a midnight government order issued on Thursday by the Department of Industry, Infrastructure, Investment, and Commerce.

 

Inaction alleged

 

“The Concessionaire has not only failed to realise the development potential of the port by inaction on the valuable resources for more than eleven years, but has also prevented its potential development by any alternative means.

 

Thus, the Concessionaire has caused substantial loss to the State and nation in terms of economic development and financial returns to the State. The 412.57 acres of land spared for the port will also be taken back from the developer.

 

No private developer

 

In February, then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had laid the foundation stone for the Machilipatnam port, kick-starting construction works with a target to commission it by early 2020.

 

The State government has decided not to allow any private developer. The State government will develop the Machilipatnam port by roping in a government port trust or central agencies that are keen on investing in the port operations.

 

The Minister added that there should not be any panic over the development of the port, stating that the State government would hold 50% of the share in the development.

 

 

 

 

 

IIT-H, Harvard University study mercury accumulation in fish #GS3 #SnT

 

A joint research by the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), Harvard University, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a Canadian government agency, has found that though there has been a

 

 

decrease in the levels of mercury pollution, the amount of mercury found in fish have been different in different species – some types of fish have less mercury than before, and some, alarmingly more.

 

The research, published this month in the international peer-review journal Nature, broadly studied how climate change impacts mercury accumulation in fish.

 

The variations in the accumulation of mercury in fish is the result of changes in sea temperature in the recent years and changes in the dietary pattern of fish due to overfishing.

 

There have been global efforts to reduce the amount of mercury entering the ocean to reduce the amount of mercury found in fish and other marine animals.

 

Working in this direction, the researchers focused on whether these and other environmental measures alleviated or exacerbated the problem of increased mercury levels in fish.

 

For the study, they chose the Gulf of Maine, a well-studied but also exploited marginal sea in the Atlantic Ocean, to understand the trends in mercury accumulation in fish. The researchers used three decades of data on ecosystem and mercury concentrations and developed a model for mercury bio-accumulation.

 

Fish metabolism

 

There are three factors that result in mercury accumulation in fish – overfishing, which leads to dietary changes among marine animals, variations in the temperature of the sea water, which leads to changes in fish metabolism that gears towards survival rather than growth, and changes in the amounts of mercury found in sea water as a result of pollution. The researchers included all three factors in their modelling studies.

 

Using this understanding, the researchers also modelled the mercury levels found in the Atlantic BlueFin Tuna (ABFT). There was a decrease in tissue mercury levels in the ABFT between 1990 and 2012, and this was driven by a fall in sea temperature during that period.

 

However, continued warming in the Gulf of Maine would cause a reversal and the amount of mercury in ABFT could increase to almost 30% by 2030. This highlights the importance of sea temperature on mercury accumulation in the marine food chain.

 

Although this study was carried out in the Atlantic Ocean, mercury levels in fish in other seas and oceans are likely to have a similar relationship with sea temperature, fishing practices and mercury pollution levels.

 

 

 

 

 

Gujarati film Hellaro bags best feature award #GS2 #Governance

 

 

Gujarati Hellaro bagged the national award for the Best Feature Film and the Best Actor Award was shared between Ayushmann Khurana for Andhadhun and Vicky Kaushal for Uri-The Surgical Strike at the 66th National Film Awards announced on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keerthy Suresh won the best actress award for her portrayal of yesteryear star Savitri in Telugu film Mahanati.

 

A 32-minute film called Chalo Jeete Hain, a hagiographical depiction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s early life was voted the Best Film on Family Values in the non-feature category. It is directed by Mangesh Hadawale and produced by Mahaveer Jain and Bhushan Kumar.

 

Uri-The Surgical Strike, a dramatised version of the first cross-border strike by Indian forces in retaliation to the attack on an Army camp in 2016, won four awards. The lead actor Vicky Kaushal was voted the Best Actor, sharing the award with Ayushman Khurana for Andhadhun.

 

The director of the film, Aditya Dhar, bagged the Best Director Award. It also got an award for the Best Music Direction for its background score by Shashwat Sachdev.

 

The Best Audiography Award went to its sound designer Bishwadeep Dipak Chatterjee. He shared this award with three others.

 

Badhaai Ho, about a family dealing with a late pregnancy, was adjudged the best popular film and veteran actor Surekha Sikri bagged the Best Supporting Actress award.

 

The Best Film on Social Issues went to Akshay Kumar starrer Padman. It was inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary napkins.

 

 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat walked away with the Best Choreography for Ghoomer and the Best Music Director award for Bhansali. Its song Binte Dil got Arijit Singh the best male playback singer recognition.

 

The best film on social issues went to Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman. The movie was inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who introduced low-cost sanitary napkins.

 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavaat, which faced a lot of hurdles during its release, walked away with the best choreography for Ghoomer and the best music director award for Bhansali.

 

Its song Binte Dil landed Arijit Singh the best male playback singer recognition.

 

Singer-lyricist Swanand Kirkire won the best supporting actor award for Marathi film Chumbak. Kannada film Nathicharami won three awards: the best female playback singer prize went to Bindhu Malini and best lyrics to Manjunatha S. for the song Maayavi Manave; the best editing award went to Nagendra K. Ujjani.

 

Nathicharami was also adjudged the best Kannada film.

 

 

 

 

 

President Kovind gives assent to UAPA Bill #GS2 #Governance

 

President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to legislation under which individuals can be declared terrorists and their properties seized.

 

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 also provides for putting a travel ban on such individuals once they are declared terrorists.

 

The President gave his assent to the legislation late on Thursday night, a Home Ministry official said. The Lok Sabha passed the amendment Bill on July 24 and the Rajya Sabha on August 2.

 

Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar are likely to be the first two to be designated as terrorists under the legislation, the Ministry official said.

 

 

 

 

 

Every child to get Rotavirus vaccine by September #GS3 #SnT

 

The Health Ministry has drawn an ambitious plan under the 100 days agenda of the newly elected government, wherein it has been decided to provide Rotavirus vaccine to every child across all States and Union Territories by September, 2019.

 

 

Diarrhoea was one of the biggest killers in children and Rotavirus was one of the most common causes of severe diarrhoea in children less than 2 years of age.

 

“Rotavirus vaccine along with proper sanitation, hand washing practices, ORS and zinc supplementation will go a long way in reducing the mortality and morbidity due to diarrhoea in children,” the Minister said.

 

The government was also committed to increasing the full immunisation coverage and ensuring that the benefit of the life-saving vaccines was provided to every child.

 

In India, every year, 37 out of every 1,000 children born are unable to celebrate their 5th birthday, and one of the major reasons for this is diarrhoeal deaths. Out of all the causes of diarrhoea, Rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age.

 

It is estimated that Rotavirus cause 8,72,000 hospitalisations; 32,70,000 outpatient visits and estimated 78,000 deaths annually in India.

 

Rotavirus diarrhoea can be prevented through vaccination. Other diarrhoea can be prevented through general measures like good hygiene, frequent hand washing, safe water and safe food consumption, exclusive breastfeeding and vitamin A supplementation.

 

Introduced in 2016

 

Rotavirus vaccine was introduced in 2016 in a phased manner, beginning with 4 States initially and later expanded to 7 more States. The vaccine is now available in 28 States/Union Territories.

 

It is expected to be available in all 36 States/Union Territories by September 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

China opposes unilateral action in Jammu and Kashmir #GS2 #IR

 

China backed the resolution of the Kashmir issue on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions as well bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan — a veiled reference to the Shimla accord of 1972.

 

“The Kashmir issue is a dispute left from colonial history. It should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements,” he said.

 

Analysts say that it is certain that the latest development in Jammu and Kashmir will feature in talks between Mr. Jaishankar and Mr. Wang.

 

The State Councilor also noted that Pakistan and India are both China’s neighbours and major developing countries that are in a crucial stage of development.

 

 

Earlier, in response to a question by The Hindu, on Pakistan’s decision to downgrade relations with India, and to take the Kashmir issue to the UN Security Council, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a written response appeared to criticise India for its “unilateral” action to change the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir.

 

China noted the relevant statement by Pakistan. The pressing priority is that the relevant party should stop unilaterally changing the status quo and avoid escalation of tension.

 

The statement called upon India and Pakistan “to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and jointly uphold regional peace and stability.”

 

Mr. Qureshi hoped that “China will stand up for justice on the Kashmir issue,” according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry readout. “Pakistan will continue to resolutely support China’s just position on issues concerning China’s core interests.”

 

 

 

 

 

Public sector banks link lending, repo rates #GS3 #Economy

 

In a move that could led to faster transmission of monetary policy rates, public sector banks have stared linking their retail loan rates with Reserve Bank of India’s repo rate.

 

This means if the Reserve Bank of India changes the repo rate, the retail loan rates will change automatically.

 

Four lenders — Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Allahabad Bank and Union Bank — have said they have either linked the lending rate to repo rate or are in the process of doing so.

 

Bank of India (BoI), which reduced its lending rate with effect from Saturday, said it had decided to offer repo rate-linked lending rate to select customer segments, including personal loans.

 

Syndicate Bank has also decided to link both deposit and lending rates. Home loans by the bank will hence start from 8.3%, which is repo rate plus 2.9 percentage points. “The bank will be exploring development of products of both assets and liabilities linked with external benchmark to transmit the benefits of rate cut to our customers shortly,” Allahabad Bank’s MD and CEO S.S.Mallikarjuna Rao said.

 

Union Bank of India said it was planning to link its housing and vehicle loan portfolio to the repo rate.

 

MCLR cut

 

These lenders have also reduced their benchmark loan pricing rate — the marginal cost of fund based lending rate — days after the Reserve Bank of India reduced the repo rate by 35 basis points (bps) on Wednesday.

 

 

Bank of India reduced its one-year MCLR — to which 80% loans are linked — by 25 bps, to 8.35% effective Saturday.

 

Bengaluru-based Syndicate Bank also reduced the one-year MCLR by 25 bps to 8.35%. Allahabad Bank’s one year MCLR was reduced by 15 bps to 8.4% effective August 14. The Kolkata-based lender also reduced deposits rates on various tenures by 10 bps. The new rate for deposits of 1 year to less than 2 years will be 6.6%.

 

Indian Overseas Bank also lowered its interest rate on loans by 15 bps in one-year-and-above tenors and 10 bps in the below-one-year tenors effective Saturday. Union Bank said, in the current scenario, it expected MCLR to further soften by up to 15 bps.

 

 

 

IIP growth slips to 4-month low #GS3 #Economy

 

Growth in industrial production slowed to a four-month low of 1.96% in June 2019, due in large part to a slowdown in the manufacturing sector and a dramatic contraction in the capital goods and consumer durables sectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growth in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) stood at 4.55% in May 2019, and at 6.53% in July of last year. Within the index, growth in the manufacturing sector slowed to 1.17% in June 2019 from 4.46% in

 

 

the previous month. Growth in the mining sector also slowed to 1.62% from 2.42% over the same period.

 

Capital goods contraction shows the existence of unutilised capacity. New investments are not happening. The relatively serious news is the fall in consumer durables which reflects a broad-based consumption slowdown.”

 

The capital goods sector contracted by 6.48% in June, compared with a contraction of 1.41% in the previous month. The consumer durables sector also contracted in June by 5.5%, compared with a growth of 0.3% in May 2019.

 

Construction also slipped in June, contracting 1.83% compared with a growth of 1.78% in May. Electricity was the only one out of the major IIP groups that saw an acceleration in growth, at 8.19% in June compared with 7.41% in May. “This looks like a trend that will continue until the end of the monsoon because the government’s capital expenditure was stalled first because of elections and then the rains,

 

 

 

CSCs target one lakh EV charging stations #GS3 #Economy

 

Common Service Centres (CSCs) , which come under the Ministry of Electronics and IT, plan to open one lakh charging stations for electric vehicles across the country in the next few years, as the country plans to transition to such vehicles from the current combustion engine-powered automobiles.

 

CSC has already started a pilot project in Delhi [near Delhi Hatt]. A couple of charging stations should be up and running. “To start with, these would have facility to charge both lead acid battery as well as lithium-ion ones… as transition will take time.”

 

Tie-up with Siemens

 

For the charging infrastructure, CSC has tied up with technology giant Siemens as “we don’t want to compromise on quality,” Mr. Tyagi said, adding that the price of each charging station would be in the range of ₹70,000-₹3 lakh.

 

“Depending on the demand and consumer behaviour, we will build business models. We can also provide a battery swapping model,” he said, adding that the CSCs could also help people switch from lead acid to lithium-ion batteries.

 

CSC e-Governance Services India is a Special Purpose Vehicle set up by MeitY to oversee implementation of the CSC scheme to enable access to information technology in rural areas.

 

The CSCs, run by these entrepreneurs, offer e-governance services, such as bill payments, filling up and submission of forms.

 

Latest count is in: Desi cattle numbers continue to go downhill #GS2 #Governance

 

The BJP-led government’s efforts to promote conservation and rearing of desi breeds through schemes like the Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) notwithstanding, India’s indigenous cattle numbers continue to decline.

 

According to the provisional 2019 Livestock Census report — the data of which is still under scrutiny and validation — the country’s total population of indigenous and nondescript cattle is estimated at 139.82 million.

 

This is a 7.5 per cent drop over the previous 2012 census figure of 151.17 million and consistent with the falling trend since 1992, when it peaked at 189.37 million.

 

In contrast, the exotic and crossbred cattle population has jumped by 29.5 per cent, from 39.73 million in 2012 to 51.47 million in 2019.

 

The increase is more than 238 per cent (from 15.22 million to 51.47 million) between 1992 and 2019, a period that witnessed a 26 per cent-plunge in the numbers for indigenous/nondescript breeds (from 189.37 million to 139.82 million).

 

All this is clearly a reflection of farmer preference for animals yielding more milk. A typical desi Gir, Sahiwal or Red Sindhi cow gives only 1,500-2,000 litres over a 300-305 days lactation cycle, compared to 7,000-8,000 litres by exotic breeds such as Holstein-Friesian and Jersey and the 4,000-4,500 litres of crossbreds.

 

 

The RGM, launched in December 2014 with a budget of Rs 2,000 crore-plus, aims at development of indigenous cattle (through selection of high genetic merit bulls for breeding) as well as upgradation of nondescript animals (by using elite desi breeds, including Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar and Red Sindhi).

 

Another indicator of farmers valuing cattle purely for milk, as opposed to draught or breeding purposes, is the falling male population.

 

Male cattle numbers in India have dipped from 101.60 million in 1992 to 67.92 million in 2012 and further to 46.61 million as per the 2019 Census, even while registering a rise for females from 102.99 million to 122.98 million and 144.68 million in these years.

 

The 2019 Livestock Census was conducted between October 1, 2018 and July 17, 2019. Unlike the previous 19 censuses that relied on manual entry, this one was done by enumerators collecting field data using computer tablets and uploading the same to a central server.

 

Around 57,000 enumerators and 11,000 supervisors were deployed in the data collection exercise, for which the National Informatics Centre developed an Android-based mobile application. In all, some

 

26.01 crore households and 0.44 crore non-households across 666,028 villages and 89,075 urban wards were covered.

 

“The current report is an interim one, based on data collected and sent by the enumerators till July 17, which was the last date for uploading. The data finalisation process by the supervisors is still underway, which will be followed by further cleaning and validation. The final report should be ready by this month-end,” sources said.

 

The latest Census also points to a continued rise in the country’s buffalo population from 108.70 million in 2012 to 110.17 million in 2019 (see table). Over a longer time period, between 1992 and 2019, the overall buffalo count has gone up from 84.21 million to 110.17 million, even while dropping from 204.58 million to 191.29 million for cattle.

 

“The available data does not suggest any impact as yet of the anti-slaughter policies of the BJP governments, whether at the Centre or in states. Buffalo numbers rising and desi cattle falling is not a new phenomenon. It was happening even earlier. And farmers seem to be keeping more milch cows, despite problems in disposal after they cease to be productive,” the sources pointed out.

 

The 2019 Census estimates India’s total livestock population at 533.20 million. That includes animals whose counts have recorded increases (goats and sheep), declines (pigs, donkeys, camels and horses) or little change (yaks and mules) since 1992.

 

Launching project to store floodwater, CM Kejriwal says Centre put it on fast track #GS2 #Governance

 

A pilot project to store overflowing water from the Yamuna in its floodplains, the plan is to retain excess monsoon water in shallow reservoirs dug out on the floodplains of around 40 acres, north of the capital near Haryana. This would recharge groundwater in the area which can be extracted to meet Delhi’s growing water demand.

 

At the inauguration in Sungarpur village, Shekhawat said availability of water was a challenge across the world. The method through which the project aims to store water — by removing the top layer of soil to a depth of around 1 metre.

 

Nature of the soil is said to be sandy below that depth, as a result of which water would percolate into the ground at a faster pace. Official estimates indicate a percolation rate of around 4-9 metres per day.

 

The pilot would study the direction, distance and speed at which water percolates, which would help the government understand the quantum of groundwater that will be recharged when the project is extrapolated to an area of more of more than 1,000 acres next year.

 

The government is embarking on an important project… We promise that… by 2022, the problem of drinking water in Delhi would be permanently solved.

 

The department has started creating reservoirs on floodplains with a deadline of a week to 10 days, after which officials expect the flooding cycle to begin. A number of JCB machines could be seen ploughing the land.

 

 

 

 

 

Chhattisgarh govt to launch free food scheme to combat malnutrition, anaemia #GS2 #Governance

 

The Chhattisgarh government has announced that it will launch a scheme that will provide “free nutritious food” to those that suffer from malnutrition and anaemia in the state on a daily basis.

 

The International Day of World’s Indigenous People — and said that while initial pilot projects are already in operation in Bastar, the scheme would first be launched on October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and would extend to the ten “aspirational districts in the state”.

 

The state government has set themselves a target to eradicating malnutrition and anaemia within the next three years.

 

“This campaign was initiated as pilot project in Bastar region from July 2019 and it will be soon conducted in other aspirational districts of the state as well.

 

 

In this campaign of anemia and malnutrition eradication, maximum participation of renowned charitable organisations, public representatives, NGOs, media groups and other competent people of the districts will be ensured.

 

Government officials said that data released by Niti Aayog says 37.60 per cent children below the age of 5 years in Chhattisgarh are suffering from malnutrition, while 41.50 per cent women in the state are suffering from anemia.

 

“Every year lakhs of children die because of malnutrition and anemia, lakhs of children are born underweight, they suffer from growth issues, their mental and physical development is adversely affected, and difficulties become part of their lives right from the time of birth. Some serious strategic measures are required to redress this problem.

 

Government officials said that each gram panchayat will compile a list of those suffering from malnutrition and anaemia, cross referenced with physical indicators.

 

“Funds for implementation of this programme will be sanctioned every month from DMF (district mineral funds), CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds, and basic funds of respective panchayats or by respective development authorities and each of the gram panchayats will maintain daily record of people being benefitted under the programme,” a senior official said.

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