Uttarakhand: National body includes hill areas in new tiger census
For this year’s survey the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has added the Almora forest division to the list of places it will cover for the count.
So, the Almora forest division, under which the Mohan range falls, has been added to the tiger survey.
The Mohan range is spread over 6,600 hectares and is adjacent to the Corbett National Park. Of its eight beats, there’s a possibility of tigers being found in three: Kumeria, Jameria and Katkinav, spread across 2,400 hectares.
US announces $810 mn in new funding for Pacific Islands at summit
The United States announced $810 million in new funding for Pacific Islands at a summit with President Joe Biden amid inroads by China in the strategic but sparsely populated region.
The White House said $600 million will be in the form of a 10-year package to clean up and develop dirty waters to support the tuna industry, while the United States will also expand climate and development aid and its diplomatic presence.
With the United States until now often seen as taking the region for granted, China has asserted itself strongly in recent years through investment, police training and, most controversially, a security pact with the Solomon Islands.
PM launches YUVA 2.0 scheme for mentoring young authors
Prime Minister’s Scheme for Mentoring Young Authors – YUVA 2.0 was launched on October 2, to promote reading, writing, and book culture in the country. In view of the significant impact of the first edition of YUVA with large-scale participation from young and budding authors in 22 different Indian languages and English, YUVA 2.0 has been launched.
Education Ministry said, the launch of YUVA 2.0 (Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors) is in tune with the Prime Minister’s vision to encourage the youth to understand and appreciate India’s democracy. It will help to develop a stream of writers who can write on a spectrum of subjects to promote the Indian heritage, culture, and knowledge system.
Jagriti: Mascot for Consumer Rights
Recently, Jagriti Mascot was launched by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), in a bid to empower consumers and generate awareness on their rights.
Jagriti Mascot will help in empowering consumers and generating awareness among them about “consumer rights”.
The Mascot will be presented as an empowered consumer, mushrooming awareness on consumer rights and addressing solutions for the problems faced by consumers.
Through the Jagriti Mascot, DoCA aims to build up campaign on consumer awareness campaign in digital and multimedia. It also seeks to support for a young, empowered and informed consumer as consumer rights awareness recall brand.
‘Unorganised sector, MSME absorbed workforce’
Unemployment in Bengal soared to 22.1% in June last year but fell sharply after that and remained on a par with, or lower than, the national average, according to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
Among other states, unemployment in June 2022 was the highest in Haryana at 30.6%, followed by Rajasthan at 29.8%, Assam at 17.2%, J&K at 17.2%, Bihar at 14% and Jharkhand at 12.2%.
MP recorded the lowest unemployment rate for June, 2022 at 0.5% followed by Chhattisgarh at 1.2%, Meghalaya at 2.3%, Gujarat at 3% and Karnataka at 3.7%.
Kerala and Goa mirrored Bengal’s see-saw unemployment figures for the last two years. For Goa, the rate plunged from 17.9% in June 2021 to 5.5% in June 2022. For Kerala, the rate dropped to 5.3% in June 2022 from 15.8% in June 2021. But the rate for Maharashtra marginally rose to 4.8% in June 2022 from 4.3% in June 2021.
There, however, remains a concern due to the decline in 100-day jobs in the state. The state has alleged the Centre has not been releasing funds under the MGNREGA scheme.
Banks told to stop funding states using future revenue
The Centre and RBI have pulled up banks for lending to state government entities based on the escrow of the state’s future revenue streams or using collectorates and courts as security, with the finance ministry seeking an end to the practice as it found that most of the loans were given by PSU banks, including SBI.
While SBI was the first to be asked to stop such lending, a source at the country’s top lender said that it extended loans to Andhra Pradesh government based on a letter from the state government, which suggested that the required approvals were in place.
Last year, in a communication to state, the Union finance ministry had stated that pledging of future tax revenues was not in line with Article 266 (1) of the Constitution, which mandates that all taxes and loans should flow into the Consolidated Fund of the state. The letter followed a reference to the Centre that the state government had transferred assets to the AP State Development Corporation (APSDC) to raise funds.