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Insights Daily Current Events, 18 March 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 18 March 2016

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Paper 2 Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

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.

Background:

  • This issue escalated when, earlier this month, 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.

sutlej SYL

Supreme Court’s recent order:

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.

About the Crisis:

What is the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal, and the controversy over it?

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.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday.

Fiber Grid

Andhra Pradesh government has launched AP Fiber Grid project. 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.

  • Under the project, Cisco will complete aerial cable connectivity in North Andhra by April-end and across the entire State by July-end.
  • The total cost for aerial cables to provide internet, telephone and 100 free-to-air channels is Rs.330 crore.
  • 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.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

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.

What the notification says?

  • All hospitals (government as well as private) will have to inform the Department of Health about a case of ILI (Influenza like Illness) having chronic diseases, so that such cases are treated at the earliest and proper guidelines of the government is followed.
  • All hospitals will have to keep a suspected as well as confirmed case of swine flu in isolation in order to contain the spread of the disease.
  • All hospitals will have to inform the Health department in case a suspected or confirmed case of swine flu is reported.
  • Also, the treatment of swine flu is provided free of cost to all the patients as recommended by the Government. All private and Government hospitals will have to abide to this notification.

Background:

The notification has been issued by the state health department based on the recommendations of an advisory committee. The department had constituted a state advisory committee under the chairmanship of Dr. D Behera.

  • The committee had observed that swine flu patients, who suffered from other chronic diseases, had a high mortality rate as compared to patients who did not have chronic diseases.
  • It was also observed that patients who were treated by private doctors were referred to higher centres only when they became critical, thereby increasing the death rate.

Swine Flu:

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. H1N1 is a flu virus. When it was first detected in 2009, it was called “swine flu” because the virus was similar to those found in pigs.

  • Transmission from Pigs to Humans: The H1N1 virus is currently a seasonal flu virus found in humans. Although it also circulates in pigs, one cannot get it by eating properly handled and cooked pork or pork products.
  • In 2009, H1N1 was spreading fast around the world, so the World Health Organization called it a pandemic.

Spread:

  • Swine flu is contagious, and it spreads in the same way as the seasonal flu.
  • When people who have it cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If a person comes in contact with these drops or touch a surface that an infected person has recently touched, the person can catch H1N1 swine flu.
  • Pregnant women who contract the H1N1 infection are at a greater risk of developing complications because of hormonal changes, physical changes and changes to their immune system to accommodate the growing foetus.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

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

The Centre 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.

Highlights 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.

Benefits:

  • 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.
  • Integrated view of end to end processes, use of workflow, notification and alerts and seamless connection between depots and district/regional offices of FCI.
  • Capture data at source and in real time through Handheld Devices, reduce redundancy.
  • SMS alerts will help field staff to take timely action.
  • Will help save costs and prevent leakages.

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

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”.

  • The project size is USD 50 million, of which USD 35 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded out of State Budget. The project duration is 5 years.

About the Project:

  • 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.

Sources: pib.


 

Facts for Prelims:

  • The Railway Ministry has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to leverage space technology for providing passenger information in all trains, map railway assets and help survey new route alignments. The MoU aims at developing applications in the field of remote sensing and graphic information system, proposes to provide information such as train stoppages, real-time train tracking, survey of new rail route alignments in hilly and difficult terrain.