Polity & Governance
- Kerala State Plan execution system in new mode
- Mumbai, Delhi in world’s top-30 ‘super cities’
Art & Culture
- Bengal’s Ganga Sagar Mela will be declared Green Mela
Science & Technology
- NABARD inks pact with NRSC for web-based monitoring
Also in News
- Arunima Sinha: the first female amputee to climb Mount Aconcagua
Polity & Governance
Kerala State Plan execution system in new mode
The Plan execution system of the Kerala State government is set for a thorough makeover from the next financial year.
The concept in this system is to give advance clearance for 25% of the projects.
Objective of the system:
- With a view to plugging the loopholes, avoiding lapses and ensuring optimum utilisation of Plan funds, the Finance Department has started experimenting a new system that will become operational from 2016-17.
How it works:
As per the system, schemes costing up to Rs.5 crore and those above Rs.5 crore would be classified into two categories and recorded separately in two documents — Green Book and Amber Book respectively.
Schemes under the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)-assisted Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) schemes, and externally assisted schemes will not be included in the Green Book.
- Under this category, schemes costing up to 5 Cr will be considered.
- A Plan Preparation Group (PPG) headed by the Secretary of the Administrative Department will consider schemes under this category.
- The total outlay of the schemes to be listed in the Green Book in the initial year has been limited to 25% of the annual State Plan outlay of each department in the previous year
- Under this category, schemes costing above 5 Cr will be considered.
- They will be considered by a Special Plan Preparation Group (SPPG) with the Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, as chairman.
- The total outlay of the schemes to be listed in this Book in the initial year has been limited to 75% of the annual State Plan outlay of each department in the previous year.
Composition of PPG and SPPG:
- The PPG comprises representatives of the Finance Department, Planning and Economic Affairs Department, Division Chief of State Planning Board, and the head of the department, agency or public sector undertaking whose proposal will be placed for clearance.
- SPPG: Almost all members of the PPG are members of the SPPG too, but the only difference is that the Additional Secretary of the Finance Department will officiate as the convener of the group.
The PPG vets the projects, examines their feasibility and makes them ready to implement so that their execution would not be delayed by bureaucratic or administrative wrangles.
The State Planning Board would communicate the tentative allocation for different schemes and components prioritised to be listed in the Green Book after considering the resource availability and other allied factors.
Mumbai, Delhi in world’s top-30 ‘super cities’
Two Indian cities — Delhi and Mumbai — have made it to a top-30 list of the world’s most powerful, productive and connected cities.
- According to the study conducted by international real estate consultancy JLL, India’s financial capital Mumbai has been ranked 22nd while the national capital Delhi is placed at 24th.
- JLL said its Top-30 global cities account for 64 per cent of the total cross-border investment into the ‘Global300’ — an expanded index of the cities in terms of their “commercial attraction” or economic and real estate power and status.
- JLL further said Mumbai is enhancing its position as a hub for global corporations, with firms among the world’s 2,000 largest companies headquartered in the city — rising by 50 per cent over the last 10 years.
The list is topped by Tokyo, which along with New York, London and Paris, make the top four ‘super cities’
These four were the destination of over 50 per cent of all foreign capital invested in the Global Top 30 cities.
Index of commercial attraction:
- The index of commercial attraction is JLL’s primary benchmark of the size and strength of a city’s economy and real estate market.
- Top-10 improvers are cities whose scores in the index of “commercial attraction” have improved the most over the past year.
- Mumbai is also on the top-10 “improvers” list.
Art & Culture
Bengal’s Ganga Sagar Mela will be declared Green Mela
The Ganga Sagar Mela, one of the biggest religious events of the country that witnesses the gathering of lakhs of pilgrims, is set for a revamp this year.
- In a bid to ensure the pilgrims’ smooth access to facilities such as sanitation, help from the police and the administration as well as information about transportation, the West Bengal government has taken up several measures.
- The Ganga Sagar Mela will be declared Green Mela this year. The district administration is planning to set up at least 12,000 toilets at the venue.
- During the fair, the district administration will undertake an awareness campaign among pilgrims on the “ill-effects” of open defecation.
About Ganga Sagar Mela:
- The Gangasagar fair and pilgrimage is held annually on Sagar Island’s southern tip, where the Ganges enters the Bay of Bengal. This confluence is also called Gangasagar or Gangasagara.
- This island, also known as Gangasagar or Sagardwip, is a place of Hindu pilgrimage.
- Every year on the day of Makar Sankranti (14 January), hundreds of thousands of Hindus gather to take a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganges and Bay of Bengal and offer prayers (puja) in the Kapil Muni Temple located near the confluence.
- The Gangasagar pilgrimage and fair is the second largest congregation of mankind after the triennial ritual bathing of Kumbha Mela.
[Courtesy: Hindu, Wiki]
Science & Technology
NABARD inks pact with NRSC for web-based monitoring
Country’s apex development bank, NABARD has signed a pact with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for web-based monitoring of watershed projects in four states.
- Web-based monitoring will be undertaken for Indo-German Watershed Development (IGWDP) projects in three states i.e. Gujarat, Rajasthan and Telangana, and NABARD-assisted watershed projects under Watershed Development Fund (WDF) in Madhya Pradesh.
- Under the MoU, NRSC will create a separate web page for NABARD on BHUVAN Web-Portal.
- It will also develop a customised software tool and mobile application for real time monitoring, online comparison and visualisation with respect toactivities implemented in the projects sanctioned by NABARD.
About National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC):
National Remote Sensing Centre or NRSC, located at Hyderabad is one of the centres of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), striving to realise the Indian Space Vision.
- It is a key player in Earth Observation Programme and Disaster Management Support programme.
- NRSC is responsible for acquisition, processing, supply of aerial and satellite remote sensing data and continuously exploring the practical uses of remote sensing technology for multilevel (global to local) applications.
- NRSC facilitates several remote sensing & GIS application projects for natural resources and environmental management catering to food security, water security, energy security and sustainable development.
- NRSC is also providing single window, disaster management support services through the Decision Support Centre.
NRSC has wealth of images from Indian and foreign remote sensing satellites in its archives and also has the capability to acquire data pertaining to any part of the globe on demand.
[Courtesy: Hindu, Wiki]
Also in News
Arunima Sinha: the first female amputee to climb Mount Aconcagua
Indian Mountaineer Arunima Sinha successfully climbed Mount Aconcagua in Argentina and set the World record as she is the first female amputee to climb five mountains of the world.
She lost her left leg in a train accident in 2011.
About Arunima Sinha:
- Arunima Sinha is the first Indian amputee as well as the first female amputee in the world to climb Mount Everest.
- She successfully climbed the Mount Everest in 2013.
- Until now, Arunima Sinha has successfully climbed four mountains of the World which includes:
- Mount Everest in Asia
- Kilimanjaro in Africa
- Elbrus in Europe
- Kosizko, Australia
- Government of India honoured Arunima Sinha with Padma Shri in 2015 in the field of Sports.
- She wrote a book entitled Born again on the mountain which was released in 2014. Earlier, Arunima Sinha was known as the national Volleyball player.
- This is to note that the first Indian woman who successfully climbed all the seven highest mountains of the world (Seven Summits) was Premlata Agarwal.
- Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia, at 6,961 metres and by extension the highest point in both the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.
- It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the Mendoza Province, Argentina, and lies 112 kilometres (70 mi) northwest of its capital, the city of Mendoza.
- It is one of the Seven Summits. (The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Summiting all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge.)
[Courtesy: ToI, Wiki]