Current Affairs Analysis

18th March 2016 Current Affairs Analysis

By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
March 18, 2016


Polity & Governance

  • Supreme Court stops Punjab from levelling SYL canal land

Social Issues

  • Punjab notifies swine flu under Epidemic Disease Act


  • Depot Online System to bring FCI foodgrain management and distribution online launched
  • Loan agreement with World Bank

Science & Technology

  • Fiber Grid Project launched in Vizag

Also in News

  • AAHAR Fair 2016

Polity & Governance

Supreme Court stops Punjab from levelling SYL canal land

The Supreme Court has ordered status quo on the land meant for the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal after Haryana alleged attempts by Punjab to alter its use by levelling it.

  • In its interim order, the court has appointed the Union Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police of Punjab as the ‘joint receiver’ of land and other property meant for the canal till the next hearing.

What’s the controversy over SYL:

  • The creation of Haryana from the old (undivided) Punjab in 1966 threw up the problem of giving Haryana its share of river waters. Punjab was opposed to sharing waters of the Ravi and Beas with Haryana, citing riparian principles, and arguing that it had no water to spare.
  • However, Centre, in 1976, issued a notification allocating to Haryana 3.5 million acre feet (MAF) out of undivided Punjab’s 7.2 MAF.
  • To enable Haryana to use its share of the waters of the Sutlej and its tributary Beas, a canal linking the Sutlej with the Yamuna, cutting across the state, was planned.
  • In April, 1982, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ceremonially dug the ground at Kapoori village in Patiala district for the construction of the 214-km Sutlej-Yamuna Link (or SYL) canal, 122 km of which was to be in Punjab, and 92 km in Haryana.
  • A tripartite agreement was also negotiated between Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan in this regard.
  • However, following the protests in Punjab, the Punjab Assembly passed The Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004, terminating its water-sharing agreements, and thus jeopardising the construction of SYL in Punjab.
  • Earlier this month, this issue escalated when the Punjab assembly passed the Punjab Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of proprietary Rights) Bill, 2016 to de-notify the land acquired to build the canal in Punjab.
  • Upset with this, Haryana sought early hearing in the Supreme Court on the Presidential reference that has been pending for around 12 years now.
  • Haryana argued the Bill, awaiting the Governor’s assent, would negate the Supreme Court’s 2004 decree calling for unhindered construction of the canal which will give Haryana its share of water.
[Ref: Hindu]

Social Issues

Punjab notifies swine flu under Epidemic Disease Act

The Punjab government has notified swine flu (H1N1) under the Epidemic Disease Act.

  • The notification in this regard was issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department of the state.

Key points of the notification:

  • All government and private hospitals in state will have to inform the Health Department about a case of ILI (Influenza like Illness) having chronic diseases. Such medical cases should be treated as early as possible and proper guidelines of the government should be followed.
  • In order to contain the spread of the disease, all hospitals of the state will have to keep suspected as well as confirmed cases of swine flu in isolation.
  • It will be mandatory for all hospitals to inform the Health department in case a suspected or confirmed case of swine flu is reported.
  • For all the patients infected by swine flu, treatment will be provided free of cost as recommended by the Government.

Advisory committee:

  • The notification has been issued by the state health department based on the recommendations of an advisory committee constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. D Behera.
  • D Behera advisory committee had observed that swine flu (H1N1) patients in state who have suffered from other chronic diseases had a high mortality rate as compared to patients who did not have chronic diseases.
  • It also had mentioned that patients who were treated by private doctors were referred to higher centres only after they became critical, which had increased the death rate.

About Swine Flu:

Swine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that normally only affects pigs. It is commonly caused by H1N1 strains of swine influenza A virus.

  • However, other strains, such as H1N2, H3N1 and H3N2 also circulate in pigs. While it is not usual for people to get swine flu, human infections do occasionally happen, mainly after close contact with infected pigs.
  • Swine flu is contagious, and it spreads in the same way as the seasonal flu.


  • In 2009, a new strain of swine influenza virus emerged in Mexico, and started to cause illness in humans. The World Health Organisation says that this new strain of influenza, called Influenza A (H1N1), can spread from person to person. Later, the World Health Organization declared the swine flu pandemic officially over.


  • Swine influenza is present in all pig-producing countries around the world. Outbreaks in pigs occur throughout the year. However, many countries routinely vaccinate pigs against swine influenza.


  • When people are infected with swine flu viruses, their symptoms are usually similar to those of seasonal influenza. These include fever, tiredness, and lack of appetite, coughing and a sore throat.
  • Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhoea. Some people infected with influenza A (H1N1) have had severe illness and died.
  • However, in most of the cases the symptoms of influenza A (H1N1) have been mild, and people have made a full recovery.
[Ref: Hindu]


Depot Online System to bring FCI foodgrain management and distribution online launched

The Union government has launched an online System to automate all the operations of FCI depots. The project is named “Depot Online”.

It is an important project under Digital India initiative of Government.

Key features of the Depot Online System:

  • The system will automate/streamline all the activities during the stock inflow/outflow by road.
  • The system will provide an efficient way to monitor & track the movement of items by rail.
  • Godown operation such as dumping management, stack management, spillage management, stack suggestion, storage loss calculation etc. will be automated. Stock position/occupancy of the shed will also be available on real time basis.
  • The application will integrate with the weighbridge installed within the depot.
  • The system will track chemical spraying, fumigation & procurement quality check.
  • The system will keep track of all the millers/Agency that are associated with the depots. Miller/Agency will be able to log in into the system & enter required details.
  • System will provide Dash board for managerial staff along with basic MIS reports such as daily stock receipt, daily stock issue, quality related reports etc.

Significance of the Depot Online System:

 “Depot Online” project is an important milestone in the overall modernization of FCI and improvement of Food Supply Chain.

  • The project will facilitate the depot management for FCI, helps in speeding up operations, Free up manpower from laborious data collation and report preparation thus, saving operational costs by proper planning & optimizing the administrative.
  • It will give ways to an integrated view of end to end processes, use of workflow, notification and alerts and seamless connection between depots and district/regional offices of FCI.
  • It will capture data at source and in real time through Handheld Devices, reduce redundancy.
  • SMS alerts will help field staff to take timely action.
  • It will help save costs and prevent leakages.
[Ref: PIB]

Loan agreement with World Bank

India has signed a loan agreement of 35 million dollars with World bank for “Madhya Pradesh Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project”.

About the Project:

  • 70% of the project cost will be financed by the World Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded out of State Budget. The project duration is 5 years.
  • The objective of the project is to improve access and quality of public services in Madhya Pradesh through implementation of the 2010 Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act.
  • The project is expected to deliver key results in terms of improving access to services and citizen outreach, simplification of Government services, performance management and strengthening the capacity of implementing agencies.
  • The project has been designed as a result based financing programme, under which funds will be released on achievement of agreed results.
[Ref: PIB]

Science & Technology

Fiber Grid Project launched in Vizag

Andhra Pradesh government has launched the first phase of AP Fiber Grid project to provide broadband connectivity at cheap rate.

  • In this regard, the government has signed a MoU with Cisco as technical partner for the project.

About the Project:

  • The project aims to set up State-wide high-speed optical fibre infrastructure leveraging the existing assets of the electricity transmission/distribution companies such as electric poles and sub-stations to provide last mile connectivity to 1.3 crore households.
  • In the second phase, underground cable network will be laid. Various software and contents like information on education and agriculture would be provided on the TV monitor to all households.
  • AP State FiberNet Ltd, the nodal agency which is implementing the project, will provide 15 Mbps connection to households at Rs.149 and to 100 Mbps to offices at Rs.999 per month by involving local cable operators.
[Ref: Hindu]

Also in News

AAHAR Fair 2016

The 31st edition of the International Food and Hospitality Fair, AAHAR 2016, was recently organized at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

Key facts:

  • AAHAR is largest show of its kind in South Asia.
  • It is organized by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) under aegis of Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is supported by the different ministries.
  • The main aim of the fair is act as a growth propelling event to promote Brand India on a global platform.
  • AAHAR 2016 will cover two separate but concurrent exhibitions (i) Hospitality India: It will cover Hotel & Restaurant Equipment and Supplies (ii) Food India: It will cover Foods, Processed Foods, Food Processing and Beverages.

Significance of the fair:

  • The fair assumed significance, since in the recent Budget, the government gave special focus to the farm sector and decided to allow up to 100 percent FDI in marketing of food items produced and manufactured locally.

India’s food and hospitality sector:

India’s food and hospitality sector is poised for a huge growth.

  • The Indian food market is expected to touch 482 billion USD by 2020, whereas the hospitality sector is considered a major attraction for FDI with the compound annual growth rate of 14 percent.
[Ref: BS]


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