- U’khand seeks UP land for compulsory plantation
- The Uttarakhand Government is scouting for land in other states for growing trees as it is left with no land for compulsory afforestation obligation in lieu of the trees that will be axed for the construction of the 5,040 mw multipurpose Pancheshwar Dam project between India and Nepal.
- Things have come to such a pass that the state is facing a huge land scarcity. Approximately, 9,100 hectares are likely to be swallowed by the dam that will come up on the Sharda (Kumaon) and Mahakali (Nepal) rivers.
- The Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 requires that afforestation is carried out in compensation for forest land diverted for non-forestry uses.
- Compensatory afforestation can be done over an equivalent area of non-forest land or overdegraded forest twice in extent of the area being diverted, if non-forestland is not available.
- Significantly, around 65 per cent of the land in Uttarakhand is under forest cover.
- For the construction of the Indo-Nepal dam, the government plans to 9,100 hectares of land in Uttarakhand and 5,000 hectares in Nepal. Around 130 villages falling in the three districts of Pithoragarh, Almora and Champawat will be affected by the dam.
- According to one estimate, close to 30,000 families spread over 62 villages will lose their land. They have not yet assessed how many livelihoods will be impacted.
- Significantly, for the ongoing construction and widening of the Char Dham road project, the PWD has identified 5,000 trees that will be felled, the dam is far bigger in area.
- CSIR signs MoU with IORA: CSIR-CIMAP to host coordinating center on medicinal plants
- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has entered into a MoU with the Regional Center for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT) of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for designating Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow (CSIR-CIMAP) as Coordinating Center on Medicinal Plants.
- The MoU was signed by Prof. Anil Kumar Tripathi, Director CSIR-CIMAP and Dr. A. Sedrpousan, Director, IORA-RCSTT.
- The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR.
- The delegation also attended the 31st Khwarizmi International Award Ceremony which was addressed by H.E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- The IORA Center at CSIR-CIMAP will establish a database on the important medicinal plants, their value added products, related experts and industries of the IORA member states and organize meetings and training programmes to promote trade, commerce and scientific exchanges to complement the strength and limitation of the member states.
· China home to 241 million old people: report
- China is fast turning into an aging society as the number of people aged 60 and above has reached 241 million, accounting for 17.3 per cent of the total population, according to an officials.
- A society with 10 per cent of its population aged 60 or older can be referred to as an “aging society,”
- Since China first became an aging society in 1999, the number of people aged 60 or above has seen a net increase of 110 million. It is estimated that the number of seniors will peak around 2050 to reach 487 million, 34.9 per cent of the total population, Mr. Wu said.
- As the old age population grew, which was largely attributed to the three decades old one child policy, China has permitted couples to have two children since 2016.
- China has stepped up nationwide education on ageing with the aim to raise citizens’ awareness and called on the public to care for the elderly.
- ‘SRIJAN’ has been launched at MyGov portal
- Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) is taking up redevelopment of around 600 major Railway stations across the country.
- In this mega exercise, assistance and involvement of all stakeholders i.e. railway passengers, urban planners, architects, engineers is important.
- Towards this objective of stakeholders’ consultation, an idea competition for development of 635 stations on Indian Railways, ‘SRIJAN’ (Station Rejuvenation Initiative through Joint ActioN) has been launched at MyGov portal since 26.01.2018.
- The last date for submission of entries in this competition is 26.03.2018. The winners will get certificates and worthy ideas will be incorporated in the designs.
- Intermodal Stations to come up in 15 cities
- The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has conducted detailed pre-feasibility studies for setting up Intermodal Stations at Nagpur and Varanasi, and the development of DPRs for this is in final stages of completion.
- Fifteen cities across the country have been prioritized for development of IMS of which Nagpur and Varanasi have been selected as pilot projects.
- Intermodal Stations are terminal infrastructure which integrate various transportation modes like rail, road, mass rapid transit system, bus rapid transit, inland waterways, auto-rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles etc, so that people can move from one mode to another seamlessly, with minimum use of automobiles.
- Bihar is national topper in FY17 growth, with 10.3 pc
- Bihar clocked a growth rate of 10.3 per cent in 2016-2017 as against 7.5 per cent in the corresponding fiscal a year ago, according to the latest Economic Survey tabled in the state Assembly.
- Bihar’s growth rate is higher than that of the national average of 7.0 per cent, the 12th Economic Survey of Bihar said.
- The state has consistently been revenue surplus, which increased from Rs 5,101 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 10,819 crore in 2016-17.
· EPFO Introduces UAN- Aadhar Linking New Facility
- Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)introduced UAN-Aadhaar linking facility for the convenience of members using EPFO Link in UMANG Mobile App.
- The facility on e-KYC Portal has further added a new feature to link UAN with Aadhaar online using biometric credentials.
- RISE Scheme: IITs set to get 25% of Government loans for higher education institutes
- The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)will get the largest chunk of loans on offer under Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE).
- This shifts funding mechanism to CFIs in higher education from grant assistance to loans to assure more funds, greater accountability.
- RISE scheme was announced in Union Budget 2017-18.
- It aims to lend low-cost funds to government higher educational institutions.
· Free viral load testing for people with HIV
- After years of shortage within the national HIV intervention system, the Health Ministry launched ‘Viral load testing for all People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV)’.
- Viral load kits are used to determine the severity of an infection before deciding on the treatment regimen that is appropriate for HIV patients. India is home to the world’s third largest HIV population, with 25 lakh patients. Only 12 lakh of the diagnosed HIV patients are on treatment and the newly-launched scheme will provide viral load testing free of cost, “at least once a year”.
- The viral load test is a big step forward. This initiative was started to ensure that treatment is started early and virus transmission is curtailed both at the individual and the community level. Now, about 12 lakh PLHIV are availing the benefit of free treatment from more than 530 ART (Antiretroviral Theraphy) centres
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