Daily Current Affairs May 2015

Daily Current Affairs GK Update – 5 July 2015

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NGT bans use of Plastic in Haridwar & Rishikesh:

  • National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposes a complete ban on plastic bags in the pilgrimage towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh.
  • NGT also fixed a penalty of 5000 rupees on anyone found violating the order.
  • The penalty will be charged as compensation for degradation of environment.
  • About NGT:
  • The National Green Tribunal has been established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • It was enacted under India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
  • The Chairman of the tribunal is required to be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • 1st Chairman of NGT : Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta.
  • Currently Chairman :  Justice Swatanter Kumar.

Army launched Operation Shiva for security and smooth conduct of the  Amarnath Yatra.:

  • Indian Army in first week of July 2015 launched Operation Shiva to provide security to those devotees taking part in the 59-day-long annual Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The operation will include Rashtriya Rifles unit, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance of Yatra route and cave shrine, combing of forests located along the Yatra track, Infantry Unit of Army, companies of Paramilitary Forces, CRPF and BSF.



Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: MDG Assessment Report 2015 released[Upsc]:

  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) released the report titled Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment.
  • It is the Goal number 7 of the Millenium Development Goals set by UN.
  • The Goal 7 targeted to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
  • According to this report,  147 countries have met the MDG drinking water target, 95 countries have met the MDG sanitation target and 77 countries have met both the drinking water and the sanitation target.
  • Although, India has met the MDG target in drinking water but in sanitation it has only made a moderate progress.
  • The report states that the access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene is critical in the prevention and care of 16 of the 17 ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’ (NTDs), including trachoma, soil-transmitted helminths (intestinal worms) and schistosomiasis. NTDs affect more than 1.5 billion people in 149 countries, causing blindness, disfigurement, permanent disability and death.
  • Also, the practice of open defecation is linked to a higher risk of stunting – or chronic malnutrition – which affects 161 million children worldwide, leaving them with irreversible physical and cognitive damage.

Rajasthan to follow Maharashtra’s Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan:

  • Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan is an ambitious program of Maharashtra Government that was launched in March 2015.
  • It aims to make 5000 villages free of water scarcity every year and make Maharashtra a drought-free state by 2019.
  • This campaign involves active participation of the people from the villages.
  • Under the programme, rainwater will be harvested within the village boundaries, which may help in increasing ground water levels.
  • This programme also encourage micro-irrigation systems encouraged for proficient use of water.

Microsoft agreed to set up Digital Village in Maharashtra [Regional]:

  • Microsoft  will  develop Smart MIDC (industrial colony) and support Digital Village in Maharashtra.
  • Microsoft agreed to provide technology support for health care services in remote tribal areas of Maharashtra.
  • Microsoft will also will setup a pilot project at Melghat in Amravati district in this regard.
  • It  has adopted Melghat village.
  • Microsoft agreed to set up a cyber-security centre at Pune.
  • Extra Facts:
  • Akodara village in Gujarat: India’s first digital village developed by ICICI.

Former Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal passed away:

  • He was appointed as the CJI in 2005 and retired after a term of 14 months.
  • As a judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Sabharwal delivered several important judgments dealing with constitutional matters, including the verdict in January 2006, that held the dissolution of Bihar Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.
  • He also headed a bench monitoring river inter-linking projects in the country.
  • He was also part of the bench that had cancelled petrol pump licences granted under the discretionary quota of ministers.

Maharashtra-government-appointed committee submits report on heavy school bags[Regional]:

  • The report states that 58 percent of school kids in Maharashtra suffer from orthopaedic ailment due to heavy school bags.
  • Recommendations of the committee
  • One book should be used for three months for each subject.
  • The textbook weight can be reduced by using less weight paper and no hardcover.
  • It suggested use of e-classroom, audio- visual technology and other technological means for teaching.
  • It also suggested the government to consider directing schools to set up lockers where children can keep their textbooks instead of carrying it daily.

Union Government released the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 for Rural India:

  • The survey was completed in all the 640 districts. It provides very useful data on households regarding various aspects of their socio-economic status– housing, land-holding, educational status, status of women, the differently able, occupation, possession of assets, SC/ST households, incomes, etc.
  • SECC 2011 is a unique First paperless Census of India.
  • The enumeration of the data was done using over 6.4 lakh electronic handheld device. Household data was taken from the National Population Register along with the Temporary Identification Number (TIN).
  • The districts and State Governments have carried out the SECC with the Union Ministry of Rural Development as the nodal Ministry.
  • Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation carried out the survey in urban areas.
  • The Registrar General, Census of India carried out the caste census.
  • Important Points of the report:
  • 23.52% rural families have no literate adult above 25 years, suggesting a poor state of education among rural masses.
  • According to the census, there are a total number of 24.39 crore households in the country, of which 17.91 crore live in villages. Of these, 10.69 crore households are considered as deprived.
  • The deprivation data reveal that 5.37 crore (29.97%) households in rural areas are “landless deriving a major part of their income from manual labour”.
  • As many as 2.37 crore (13.25%) families in villages live in houses of one room with ‘kaccha’ walls and roof.
  • It further said 21.53%, or 3.86 crore, families living in villages belong to SC/ST categories.
  • Read the Full report here: http://www.secc.gov.in/welcome


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