Polity & Governance
- JPC on land Bill to seek eighth extension
- SC grants six weeks to Centre to clarify stand on Ram Sethu
Issues related to Health & Education
- India Youth Development Index and Report 2017
- The largest ever survey, National Achievement Survey (NAS) conducted successfully
- Northeast to get India’s first ever ‘Air Dispensary’
- World Diabetes Day 2017
- IWAI pushes for early completion of Jal Marg Vikas Project on Ganga
Key Facts for Prelims
- WB government to set fish tourism circuit
- Equestrian Federation of India (EFI)
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Polity & Governance
JPC on land Bill to seek eighth extension
The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Land Acquisition Bill, 2015, will seek the eighth extension in the upcoming Parliament session.
Why JPC needs extension?
- Out of 29 clauses, the JPC has achieved unanimity on at least 27. More consultations are required for the remaining clauses.
- The JPC was set up in May 2015 to examine the Bill after it was opposed by many political parties, including allies of the ruling BJP.
- The Bill seeks to remove the consent clause for acquiring land for five purposes — industrial corridors, public-private projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.
What is a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)?
- A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is an ad-hoc body.
- It is set up for a specific object and duration.
- Joint committees are set up by a motion passed in one house of Parliament and agreed to by the other.
- The details regarding membership and subjects are also decided by Parliament.
All about Land Acquisition Bill, 2015:
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 seeks to Amend the Act of 2013 (LARR Act, 2013).
- The Bill creates five special categories of land use: (1) defence, (2) rural infrastructure, (3) affordable housing, (4) industrial corridors, and (5) infrastructure projects including Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where the central government owns the land.
- The Bill exempts the five categories from provisions of the LARR Act, 2013 which requires the consent of 80 per cent of land ownersto be obtained for private projects and that of 70 per cent of land owners for PPP projects.
- The Bill allows exemption for projects in these five categories from requiring Social Impact Assessment be done to identify those affected and from the restrictions on the acquisition of irrigated multi-cropped land imposed by LARR Act 2013.
- The Bill brings provisions for compensation, rehabilitation, and resettlement under other related Acts such as the National Highways Act and the Railways Act in consonance with the LARR Act.
- The Bill changes acquisition of land for private companies mentioned in LARR Act, 2013 to acquisition for ‘private entities’. A private entity could include companies, corporations and nonprofit organisations.
SC grants six weeks to Centre to clarify stand on Ram Sethu
The Supreme court directed the Centre to respond within six weeks to the plea to implement Sethu Samudram project without affecting Ram bridge.
- Further the apex court directed the Union government to make it clear to the people about its stand in the issues.
What is Ram Setu?
Rama Setu or Rama’s Bridge or Adam’s Bridge is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.
- The bridge is 50 km (30 mi) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (south-west) from the Palk Strait (northeast).
- According to Indian mythology, it was built by an army of monkeys for Hindu god Ram and his warriors to cross over to Lanka to rescue Sita.
- Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.
What’s the controversy?
- The bridge between the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka has been at the centre of controversy since the Sethusamudram shipping canal project was planned, requiring dredging in the area.
- It is a 30-km-long stretch of limestone shoals that runs from Pamban Island near Rameshwaram in South India to Mannar Island off the northern coast of Sri Lanka.
- While some claim the Setu was a bridge was built by Lord Rama’s “Vanar Sena” (army of apes and monkeys) and hence cannot be touched, others insist it is a naturally formed chain of lime shoals.
- The matter reached Supreme Court with petitions challenging the government’s decision to construct the Sethusamudram Canal by dredging a portion of the Ram Setu.
- The project is being commissioned under the marine technology training programme of ICHR dealing with under-water archeology and research scholars will be given training for this purpose.
- The Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, which had been established by an Administrative Order of the then Ministry of Education.
- The ICHR was formed as a literary and charitable society, a fully funded autonomous body of the Ministry of Education.
- Famous historian R.S. Sharma the then Head Department of History, Delhi University, was nominated as the first chairman of ICHR.
- ICHR disburses funds for carrying out research to Indian as well as foreign scholars on their applications for fellowships, grants, and symposia, made to the Indian Council of Historical Research or through the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Issues related to Health & Education
India Youth Development Index and Report 2017
The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports released the India Youth Development Index (YDI) and Report 2017.
About the index:
- The index has been developed by the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) in Tamil Nadu.
- The main aim behind constructing the index is to track the trends in Youth Development across the states.
- The Index enables recognizing the high and low performing states, identifies the weak domains and informs the policy makers the priority areas of intervention for youth development in the states.
- It was constructed using latest definition of youth as used in National Youth Policy 2014 and World Youth Development Report of Commonwealth (15–29 years) as well as using the Commonwealth Indicators in order to facilitate Global comparison.
How is Indian YDI different from Global YDI?
- In IYDI 2017, the first five dimensions are retained same as that of Global YDI.
- The indicators and weights were modified based on availability of data at sub-national level and importance of indicators in explaining Youth Development with the aim of capturing the multidimensional properties that indicate progress in youth development at state level.
- The India-specific index is different from the global YDI as it adds a new domain of social inclusion to assess the inclusiveness of societal progress due to prevalence of structural inequalities in the Indian society.
Significance of YDI
- This construction helps to identify the gaps that require intensification of policy intervention.
- The report also enables comparisons across geographical areas and categories, as human development index has done in comparing the development situation across regions, nations and localities.
- The index also measures the achievements made besides serving as an advocacy tool for youth development and facilitates to identify priority areas for development of Policy and Interventions.
- It will also enable the policy makers to track the national and regional progress as well as the setbacks in youth development policies, planning, priority identification and implementation strategies.
- Besides providing insights to suggest alternatives and options, it also aids in judicious allocation of resources.
About Global YDI
The YDI is a composite index of 18 indicators that collectively measure multi-dimensional progress on youth development in 183 countries, including 49 of the 53 Commonwealth countries.
- It has five domains measuring levels of education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, political participation and civic participation for young people.
- The YDI is guided by the Commonwealth definition of youth as people between the ages of 15 and 29, while recognising that some countries and international institutions define youth differently.
- India has been ranked 133rd out of 183 countries in the 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI).
Definition of youth in India:
- In the National Youth Policy (2014), youth are defined as those aged 15 to 29. This age-group constitutes 27.5% of India’s population.
The largest ever survey, National Achievement Survey (NAS) conducted successfully
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) conducted a massive survey, National Achievement Survey (NAS), involving over 25 lakh students of Class III, V and VIII in government and government-aided schools across the country to ascertain how much they have learned.
- The NAS is the largest ever learning assessment conducted in the country and is among the largest in the world.
About the survey:
- NAS is a transparent and credible exercise done under third party verification.
- Learning levels of more than 25 lakh students from 1.10 lakh schools in 700 districts were assessed under the survey.
- More than 1.75 lakh non-government, trained field investigators were engaged for the purpose.
Questions asked in the survey
- Survey tools included test booklets with 45 questions on maths and language for students of classes III and V and 60 questions on maths, language, science and social sciences for pupil of Class VIII.
- Also, questionnaires related to students, teachers and schools were part of the survey.
- The questions reflected learning outcomes set by the NCERT and recently incorporated in the RTE Act.
Significance of this survey:
- The inferences will be used to design classroom interventions to be percolated to all schools in the districts.
- Its findings will also help ascertain the efficiency of the education system and guide the education policy, planning and implementation at the national, state, district and classroom levels.
Northeast to get India’s first ever ‘Air Dispensary’
The Northeast will soon get a helicopter-based air dispensary, the first of its kind, to serve the people in remote areas in the region.
- The Union Ministry of Development of Northeast (DONER) has already contributed Rs. 25 crore as part of the initial funding for this initiative.
Need of Air Dispensary:
- For a few months, the DoNER Ministry explored the idea of introducing a helicopter-based dispensary/OPD service in far flung areas, where no doctor or medical facility is available and the patient does not have access to medical care.
What’s the plan?
- According to the plan, helicopters will be based at two locations – Imphal and Shillong, which have premier postgraduate medical institutes from where doctors, along with equipment and paramedical staff, would be able to fly over eight states in the region.
- On its way back, the same helicopter can also carry a sick patient to a city hospital.
- Three twin-engine helicopters are proposed to be stationed for the initial operation on six routes in the region around Imphal, Guwahati and Dibrugarh.
World Diabetes Day 2017
The World Diabetes Day was observed every year across the world on 14 November to raise awareness about diabetes.
- The theme for World Diabetes Day 2017 is “Women and diabetes – Our right to a healthy future”
- The main objective of this year’s campaign is to promote the importance of affordable and equitable access to medical care for all women.
- The World Diabetes Day was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2007 by passing resolution A/RES/61/225.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic, progressive non-communicable disease (NCD) characterized by elevated levels of blood sugar (blood glucose).
How does it occur?
It occurs when
- The pancreas does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar
- The body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
Types of Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, and type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t make or use insulin very well, causing glucose to remain in the blood, which can lead to serious problems.
Women and Diabetes
- Diabetes is ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths each year.
- Currently, there are over 199 million women living with diabetes and it is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.
- Two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age which accounts for over 60 million women worldwide.
- Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes. Also, one in seven births is affected by gestational diabetes.
[Ref: The Hindu]
IWAI pushes for early completion of Jal Marg Vikas Project on Ganga
The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has awarded a contract to a reputed consultant for technical support services for the Multi-Modal Terminal at Haldia and new Navigation Lock at Farakka.
- These projects are part of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on National Waterway -I (River Ganga), being implemented with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369 crore.
- The objective of this is to ensure adherence to timelines and budgeted costs of the project and full compliance with the other stated guidelines.
What is Jal Marg Vikas Project?
- Jal Marg Vikas Project is a project on the river Ganga that envisages the development of waterway between Allahabad and Haldia that will cover a distance of 1620 km.
- It aims to develop a fairway with three metres depth to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels on the river.
- The project includes the development of fairway, multi-modal terminals, strengthening of open river navigation technique, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS) etc.
What is River Information system?
- River Information system (RIS) RIS is a combination of modern tracking equipment comprising of hardware and software designed to optimise transport and traffic processes in inland water navigation.
- The system has the capability to enhance swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and Base stations through advance and real-time exchange of information.
- It enables safe and efficient inland water transport by avoiding risks such as (i) Ship-to-Ship collisions. (ii) Ship-Bridge collisions. (iii) Groundings.
- Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI) is implementing the RIS in India.
- National Waterway-1 (NW-1) is a waterway passing through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, potentially serving the major cities of Haldia, Howrah, Kolkata, Bhagalpur, Patna, Ghazipur, Varanasi, Allahabad and their industrial hinterlands including several industries located along the Ganga basin.
About Inland Waterways Authority of India:
- Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India.
- Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP.
- Its main function is to build the necessary infrastructure in the inland waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also carrying out administration and regulation.
Key Facts for Prelims
WB government to set fish tourism circuit
- West Bengal government is firming up plans to set up a fish tourism circuit to attract country’s fish-loving communities.
- The State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC) is preparing the blueprint for the tourism circuit.
- The circuit will centre around the hotels run by SFDC in places like Digha, Udaypur, Henry Island, Bishnupur, Jamunadighi and Siliguri.
- A typical tour will consist of a two days-one night package, with fish as the focal theme – be it food or sightseeing.
- Fish dishes to be served will comprise the traditional favourites of Bengalis as well as newly-introduced varieties in the state like chanos (also called milkfish), pompano, cobia (all marine fishes) and vannamei (a type of shrimp).
Equestrian Federation of India (EFI)
- Equestrian Federation of India (EFI), the regulating body of Equestrian sports in India started organising Equestrian sports competitions in India for Show Jumping, Eventing & Dressage.