IASToppers-Current-Affairs-Analysis-8th-Dec-2015
Current Affairs Analysis

8th December 2015 Current Affairs Analysis

December 08, 2015

Contents

 

Polity & Governance

  • ‘Digital MLAs’ -Maharashtra becomes first state to allow MLAs raise online question

Economy

  • Rajasthan Joins UDAY Scheme

Environment & Ecology

China issues first red alert on pollution

Polity & Governance

‘Digital MLAs’ -Maharashtra becomes first state to allow MLAs raise online question

Under the initiative of ‘Digital MLAs’, Maharashtra has become country’s first state to allow the members of state legislature to raise online questions.

  • It is an effort to move towards complete digitization of the process.
  • The step is aimed at bringing the paper work to minimum.
  • As per the programme, the State government has given unique user names and passwords to each of the members and a server has been set up. Laptops of members have been configured to server, which is set up by Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited.
  • The server has eight sections, such as star questions, calling attention motion, proposals, etc.
  • The entire system is available on Unicode and can be accessed in Marathi.

[Source: The Hindu]

Economy

Rajasthan Joins UDAY Scheme

Rajasthan Government has conveyed its in-principle approval to Ministry of Power (MoP) for joining UDAY Scheme (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana).

About UDAY scheme:

  • ‘UDAY’ (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) scheme – has been launched to improve financial and operational efficiencies of power distribution companies (DISCOMs).
  • It envisages reducing interest burden, cost of power and AT&C losses. Consequently, DISCOM would become sustainable to supply adequate and reliable power enabling 24×7 power supply.
  • The scheme provides that States would take over 75% debts of Discoms, as on 30th September, 2015 in two years.
  • UDAY has inbuilt incentives encouraging State Governments to voluntarily restructure their debts. These incentives include
  1. taking over of DISCOM debt by the States outside the fiscal deficit limits;
  2. reduction in the cost of power through various measures such as coal linkage rationalization, liberal coal swaps, coal price rationalization, correction in coal grade slippage, allocation of coal linkages at notified prices;
  3. priority/additional funding through schemes of MoP & MNRE and
  4. Reduction in interest burden.
  • UDAY is different from earlier restructuring schemes in several ways including flexibility of keeping debt taken over outside fiscal deficit limit, reduction in cost of power and a series of time bound interventions for improving operational efficiency.
  • UDAY provides for measures that will reduce the cost of power generation, which would ultimately benefit consumers.

[Source: PIB]

Environment & Ecology

China issues first red alert on pollution

China’s capital Beijing has issued a red alert for air pollution for the first time ever, with a heavy cloud of dangerous smog blanketing the city.

Details:

  • Beijing has announced an emergency air pollution response system with multicoloured warnings in 2013. Since then, it was the first time a code red had been sounded. The warning is an upgrade from an orange alert issued over the weekend, part of China’s four-colour warning system that includes yellow and blue levels for less polluted conditions.
  • Beijing’s real-time air quality index is close to 300 micrograms on the PM2.5 scale, which measures fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. These are particularly dangerous to inhale since they can lodge in a person’s lungs. The reading soared as high as 976 micrograms earlier in the month.
  • The fact that last week’s dangerously high smog levels – which hit 20 times the designated ‘safe’ limits set down by the World Health Organisation – did not themselves trigger a red alert was met with controversy within China’s capital.
  • The extent of the problem can be seen from space, with NASA satellites indicating the pervasiveness of the massive blanket of pollution that’s currently covering much of China.
  • Under the present situations,
  1. schools will be required to close;
  2. cars will be allowed to drive only on alternate days, depending on their licence plate numbers;
  3. Fireworks and outdoor barbecuing will be banned (grilled kebabs are a hugely popular street food in the city).
  4. In addition, government agencies will have to keep 30 per cent of their automobiles off the streets.
  5. Outdoor construction and some industrial plants will have to shut down.

[Sources: Business Standard, Science Alert]

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