Assam to move Supreme Court for NRC reverification in select districts
- The Assam government has termed the finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list there as a “mixed bag” and raised concerns over several “technical flaws” in the process. It has decided to move to the Supreme Court appealing for re-verification in selected districts.
- Earlier, the Centre and Assam Government had sought a 20 % sample re-verification of names included in the final draft of the NRC in the districts bordering Bangladesh and a 10% sample re-verification in the remaining districts. However, the plea was rejected by Supreme Court.
- The National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on August 31, 2019. Over 19 lakh people were excluded from the final list.
- Excluded persons will have 120 days to file an appeal at any of the existing Foreigners Tribunals. The Tribunals are required to dispose of the cases within six months. Appellants can then approach the High Court and Supreme Court. They will get a window of 10 months to prove their citizenship before being sent to detention centres
- The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register which contains the name of all citizens of India residing in Assam. It was first prepared in 1951.
- The NRC has recently been updated in Assam to address the issue of illegal migrants. It seeks to identify illegal migrants in Assam who had entered the state on or after 25th March 1971.
- The update has been carried out under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord, 1985.
Russia to train four Indian astronauts for Gaganyaan
- Russia will help in 4-5 critical areas of the Gaganyaan Mission. This includes training of Indian astronauts at Russian facilities.
- A special ISRO unit will be established in the embassy in Moscow to facilitate increased cooperation between India and Russia in view of the Gaganyaan programme
- Gaganyaan is India’s first Human Space Flight Programme to be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by 2022.
- The programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.
- Space launch vehicle, GSLV MK III will be used for the Gaganyaan mission. It has been modified to fit a crew module and life support to carry astronauts to space.
- Russia has conducted a number of human spaceflight missions viz. the Vostok program, Voskhod program, Soyuz program. Vostok 1 in 1961 was the first human orbital flight and Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.
- The 7-Star Rainbow Scheme was launched by Haryana state government in 2018. It focuses on incentivising and encourage the working of Gram Panchayats in Haryana.
- Under the scheme, the gram Panchayats are assessed on seven parameters which are recognised with a star. Further, each parameter is a given a specific colour.
- The different parameters are: a) Sex Ratio (pink), b) Education and No dropouts (Sky Blue), c) Hygiene and Sanitation (White), d) Peace and Harmony (Saffron), e) Environment preservation (Green), f) Good Governance (Golden), and g) Social Participation (Silver)
- Haryana government has also included another parameter of digital literacy under Education’s head from 2019
- Gram Panchayats scoring full marks in any of the parameter are facilitated with “Star” of that parameter.
- Villages for achieving each parameter are awarded Rs. 1 Lakh. Villages having equal or more girl population are given Rs. 50000 as bonus with the reward money.
- Gram Panchayats scoring maximum in all parameters are recognised as Indradhanush Gram Panchayats
- The ‘Samudrayaan’ is a part of the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ pilot project for deep ocean mining for rare minerals.
- The project proposes to send a submersible vehicle with three persons to a depth of about 6000 metres to carry out deep underwater studies
- The project is being undertaken by National Institute of Ocean Technology.
- Recently, the Indian government has given approval to the Deep Ocean Mission (DOM). The mission proposes to explore Deep Ocean similar to space exploration started by ISRO.
- Key areas of the mission are: a) Deep-sea mining: exploitation of polymetallic nodules(PMN), b) Ocean climate change advisory services, c) Underwater vehicles, d) Underwater robotics related technologies
- Two key projects have been planned under the Mission: a) Desalination plant powered by tidal energy, b) Submersible vehicle equipped to explore depths of at least 6,000 metres.
- The mission will be led by the Union Earth Sciences Ministry. It will be a five-year mission and is expected to commence from October 31, 2019.
- India has been allocated a site of 75,000 sq km in the Central Indian Ocean Basin by the International Sea Bed Authority for exploration of polymetallic nodules from seabed.
- The estimated resource of polymetallic nodules is about 380 million tonnes, containing 4.7 million tonnes of nickel, 4.29 million tonnes of copper and 0.55 million tonnes of cobalt and 92.59 million tonnes of manganese.
- Vice President of India has inaugurated the fifth edition of Aqua Aquaria India-2019.
- The theme of the event is “Taking Blue revolution to India’s hinterland”. The event is being organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority(MPEDA).
- Addressing the session,Vice President said that India is the second largest fish producer in the world with a production of 13.70 million tonnes during 2018-19.
- India earns 10% of its total exports from fisheries.India is also the fourth largest exporter of fish in revenue terms.The contribution of fisheries to the Gross Domestic Product is about 1% and about 5.37% to the Agricultural GDP.
- However,India utilizes only about 40% of the available 2.36 million hectares of ponds and tanks for freshwater aquaculture and about 15% of a total potential brackish resource of 1.2 million hectares.
- Hence,there is a need to boost fish production to ensure food security to our population.
- MPEDA was constituted in 1972 under the Marine Products Export Development Authority Act,1972.It functions under the Department of Commerce,Government of India.
- It acts as a coordinating agency with different Central and State Government establishments engaged in fishery production and allied activities.
Special Tiger Force for Corbett Reserve set up
- Uttarakhand Government has decided to set up Special Tiger Force for Corbett Tiger Reserve(CTR).
- The special tiger force will check illegal human intrusion into the reserve through villages located on its fringes and serve as a second layer of protection for tigers at the CTR.
- Jim Corbett National Park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park- the first national park in India.It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand.
- The park was also declared as a Tiger Reserve in 1973.It is the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative.
- Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of the Country and has been declared as an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) by Birdlife International.
India to become largest importer of coking coal by 2025, says Fitch Solutions
- According to a Fitch report,India will overtake China as the largest importer of coking coal by 2025.
- The report has forecasted that India’s coking coal consumption will grow at an annual average rate of 5.4% between 2019 and 2028 due to robust expansion in steel production in the country.
- However,China will continue to account for roughly two-thirds of global coking coal production and consumption over the coming years.
- But China’s steel production will decrease in the medium term with the slowing of the economy and construction sectors dragging coking coal consumption lower.
- Coking coal also known as metallurgical coal is used to create coke.Coke is one of the key irreplaceable inputs for the production of steel.
- There are many varieties of coal in the world ranging from brown coal or lignite to anthracite.However,the property that sets coking coals apart from other coals is its caking ability, composition, mineral content among others.
Panel to study uranium contamination in A.P.’s Kadapa district
- The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry into complaints about groundwater pollution caused by the uranium processing project of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited(UCIL) at Tummalapalle of Kadapa district.
- UCIL is a centrally owned Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) for uranium mining and uranium processing under the Department of Atomic Energy. It was founded in 1976.UCIL is responsible for the mining and milling of uranium ore in India.
- UCIL operates six underground mines at Bagjata, Jaduguda, Bhatin, Narwapahar, Turamdih and Mahuldiha and one open pit mine (Banduhurang) in the State of Jharkhand.
- UCIL is also constructing a new underground mine and process plant at Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh.
- Kanyakumari-based Vivekanand Kendra and its state units will launch a year-long nation-wide mass contact programme titled “Ek Bharat Vijayi Bharat” on September 2,2019.
- The mass contact programme coincides with the 50th foundation year of Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari.
- The programme will involve around 20,000 workers of around 1,005 units of Vivekanand Kendra across the country.
- The programme will focus on spreading the messages of Swami Vivekananda making people aware of the inspiring story of Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the activities of Vivekanand Kendra.
- Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendra Nath Datta in 1863.He was a monk and chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
- He introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the world stage during the late 19th century.
- He established Ramakrishna Mission in 1987.The institution did extensive educational and philanthropic work in India.He also represented India in the first Parliament of Religion held in Chicago (U.S.) in 1893.
Chhattisgarh: India’s first garbage cafe to be opened in Ambikapur
- India’s first Garbage Café will soon be opened in the city of Ambikapur in north Chhattisgarh.It is a step towards making the city plastic-free.
- This initiative is led by the Ambikapur municipal corporation of Chhattisgarh.The city has been hailed as the second cleanest city in the country in Swachhata rankings.
- In this unique Cafe’, poor people and rag pickers will get free food in exchange for one kilogram of plastic while breakfast will be provided if half a kilogram of plastic is brought to the cafe.
- Further,the collected garbage will be sold at Solid Liquid Resources Management Centre.It would further be turned into granules and will then be used in the construction of roads in the city.
Over 19 lakh excluded from Assam’s final NRC
- The final list of National Register of Citizens(NRC) has been released in Assam.
- The names of 3 crore 11 lakh applicants have been included in the final NRC while 19 lakh 7 thousand have been excluded.
- However,Assam CM has assured that those excluded from final NRC will not be detained and they can appeal against their exclusion in the Foreigners’ Tribunals.
- The Assam government will establish 400 Foreigners Tribunals in the state to deal with such appeals.
- The National Register of Citizens(NRC) is a register which contains the name of all citizens of India residing in Assam.It was prepared in 1951.
- NRC seeks to identify illegal migrants in Assam who had entered the state on or after 25th March 1971.The update is being carried out under the Citizenship Act,1955 and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord,1985.
- The process of updating the NRC is being carried out by the Registrar General of India and is being closely monitored by the Supreme Court.
- Foreigners Tribunal(FT) was set up in Assam in 1964 through the Foreigners Tribunal Order 1964.The tribunals are mandated with identifying the legal status of suspected foreigners in Assam.
Electors Verification Programme
- The Election Commission will launch an Electors Verification Programme (EVP) on September 1,2019.
- The program aims to provide (a)better electoral services (b)improve communication between voters and the Commission and (c)improve the overall health of electoral rolls in general.
- Voters can use the National Voters’ Service Portal (NVSP), Voter Helpline App, Common Service Centres or the voter facilitation centre to avail of facilities like verification and correction of details, authentication, updating details of family members and giving feedback among others.
- The process will also include (a)standardisation of address (b)capturing of GIS location of the respective polling stations (c)exploration of alternative locations for polling stations and (d)update of age group-wise projected population details.
IT Ministry partners Google on ‘Build for Digital India’
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Google has signed a statement of intent to roll-out ‘Build for Digital India’.
- The programme will give engineering students a platform to develop market-ready, technology-based solutions that address key social problems.
- As part of the programme, engineering students will be invited to present their ideas in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure, women’s safety, transportation, environment, disability and digital literacy.
- The Digital India program aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.Examples of Digital India Initiatives are Aadhaar, Agrimarket App, BHIM-UPI, Cyber Swachta Kendra among others.
Alappuzha all set for Nehru Trophy Boat Race
- Alappuzha is hosting the 67th Nehru Trophy Boat Race which has started from 31st August,2019.
- Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular Vallam Kali (boat race) held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha,Kerala on the second Saturday of August every year.
- The most popular event of the race is the competition of Chundan Vallams (snake boats). Hence the race is also known as Snake Boat Race in English.
- The boat race is organized by the Nehru Trophy Boat Race Society under the guidance of the district administration.
- Vembanad is the longest lake in India which spans several districts in Kerala.It is known as Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, Kochi Lake in Kochi.