Society related issues:
The sex ratio at birth (SRB) saw a decline in 17 out of 21 large States of the country, with Gujarat recording an alarming dip of 53 points, a report released by the Niti Aayog stated and stressed on the need to check sex-selective abortion.
Iran on Saturday joined hands with India to promote connectivity through the port of Chabahar and asked the United States to respect territorial sovereignty.
Indian Constitution and Polity:
Rajasthan to get full share of Yamuna waters(The Hindu)
Rajasthan will get its full share of 1.119 billion cusec metres of water from the Yamuna, with the Upper Yamuna Review Committee deciding over the weekend that 1,917 cusecs water will be released from the Tajewala headworks to Jhunjhunu, Churu and Sikar districts for drinking and irrigation. With this decision, the dispute between Rajasthan and Haryana over the sharing of Yamuna waters, as per an agreement signed between the Chief Ministers of five States in 1994, has been resolved.
An independent ‘judicial Lokpal’ with power to take up complaints and initiate action against judges should be set up to ensure accountability of the judiciary, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said here on Saturday.
What is the lowdown on industrial renewal(The Hindu)
Industrial activity, as measured by the government’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and the private sector Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), has improved significantly over the last two months. Growth in the IIP soared to 8.8% in November, the highest since October 2015, and stood at a slightly slower but still robust 7.07% in December.
Odisha places wish list before NITI Aayog(The Hindu)
The Odisha government on Saturday told the NITI Aayog that the State wanted restoration of central assistance for special KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) plan, Integrated Action Plan and Backward Region Grant Fund, besides a hike in the Centre’s share in the State Disaster Response Fund and revision of coal royalty, official sources said.
PSBs need private participation: CEA(The Hindu)
Strong cases have emerged to seek increased regulation and private sector participation in public sector banks in the wake of recent episodes, including the Punjab National Bank scam, said Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.
Science and Technology:
The National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA), India’s drug pricing regulator, has further brought down the cost of drug-eluting stents (DES) from ₹29,600 to ₹27,890, while marginally increasing the cost of bare-metal stents from ₹7,400 to ₹7,660.
The India State of Forest Report (SFR) 2017 published recently has revealed that the mangrove cover in the country has increased by 181 sq km. But the Indian Sunderbans that comprise almost 43% of total mangrove cover have shown only a marginal rise of 8 sq km, at 2,114 sq km from 2,106 sq km in the 2015 SFR report.
A fire at a shop near the 14th century Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai has brought to light the woefully inadequate fire-fighting measures in busy temples. On an average, over 15,000 people visit the temple daily on weekdays and over 25,000 on Friday.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS