- Andhra Pradesh not so ‘transparent’ about RTI applications, has high pendency rate
- A survey conducted by Transparency International India in collaboration with the Union ministry of human resources and state governments, found that 6,99,258 RTI applications had been registered in the state, one of the highest in the country. However, the state fares poor in disposing the appeals on time.
- It is only behind West Bengal (17 years 10 months), Rajasthan (3 years 4 months), Assam (2 years 8 months), and Kerala (2 years 3 months). The state is only behind Uttar Pradesh, which takes 1 year 4 months to dispose an appeal.
- Andhra Pradesh saw an average of 87,402 applications per year, standing at 8th position. Maharashtra tops the list with 54,95,788 applications, followed by Karnataka with 22,78,082, Kerala (21,92,571), Tamil Nadu (19,23,388), Kerala (19,9324), Karnataka (22,7808), Bihar (96,024), and Gujarat with 94,227 cases.
- The survey also found that for Andhra Pradesh, annual reports are available only for period between 2006 and 2013. Report for 2014 is prepared but not put before the assembly. However, the reports for 2015, 2016 are under preparation.
- The survey also found there is low awareness about RTI, particularly among marginalised sections. Information seekers face challenges because of non-uniform rules, procedures, inconvenient mode and difference in fees across the states.
- The survey also recommended use of innovative technology to disclose more information through the government websites across all the platforms, including vast mobile connectivity, and mobile applications. Replies in multiple languages will itself make the system transparent. Some states use video conferencing to dispose such cases of second appeals.
· World Bank Projects Indias Growth Rate at 7.3% in 2018
- World Bankprojected India’s growth rate at 7.3 percent in 2018 and 7.5 for the next two years.
- According to the 2018 Global Economics Prospect release, despite initial setbacks from demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST), India’s economy is estimated to have grown at 6.7 percent in 2017.
- India’s growth potential will be around 7 percent for the next 10 years. In comparison with China, which is slowing, the World Bank is expecting India to gradually accelerate.
· Germany denies achieving climate change goal till 2020
- The goal to cut the carbon emission by 2020 may be missed by Germany as the chancellor Angela Merkel and her party has denied achieving the goal in next two years.
- To achieve the target of lowering the emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels by about five percentage points is on low chances.
- Despite a booming renewable sector, Germany still gets 39% of its power from coal.
- A cross-party commission has been established to create a phase-out plan for the dirty fuel, but it remains a politically charged subject, with utilities and mining unions playing for more time to transition.
- Germany likes to champion itself as a climate leader.
· World’s Largest Ice Festival Held in China
- World’s largest Ice Festival ‘International Ice and Snow Festival’was held in Harbin, China.
- This is one of China’s coldest cities in the winter. It is the 34th annual Ice Festival in Harbin, north-east China.
- It features sculptures of Moscow’s Red Square and Bangkok’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
- Goa to host second bird festival from January 12
- The second edition of the Goa Bird Festival will be held from January 12 to 14 at Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Canacona.
- The State Forest department is organising the event with the support of Goa Tourism, the Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN) and Birderpics.com.
- Goa is said to have over 440 species of birds out of over 1,200 in the country.
- The festival will host some of the country’s top naturalists, photographers and artists as resource persons.
- A R Rahman becomes Sikkim’s brand ambassador
- Music composer A R Rahman has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Sikkim.
- The declaration was made by Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling who felicitated the legendary music composer during an inauguration of the 11-day Sikkim Red Panda Winter Carnival at Palzor Stadium in Gangtok.
- Sikkim hopes that Rahman’s appointment as the brand ambassador would give a huge fillip to the tourism of the state.
· Union Government to launch new scheme for free treatment of Hepatitis C
- The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfareis going to roll out National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis, is going to roll out National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis, a new scheme free treatment of Hepatitis C from the 2018-19 financial year.
- Under the new scheme, the focus will be on anti-viral treatment of Hepatitis C which will be provided free at all government health set-ups.
Gk bit– Hepatitis
- Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol.
- There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
- Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids.
- Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become ongoing and chronic. Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.
- Hepatitis Ais caused by an infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This type of hepatitis is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis A.
- Hepatitis Bis transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis Ccomes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact.
- Also called delta hepatitis, hepatitis Dis a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). HDV is contracted through direct contact with infected blood. Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis D virus can’t multiply without the presence of hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis Eis a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting fecal matter that contaminates the water supply. Cases of hepatitis E have been reported in the Middle East, Asia, Central America, and Africa, according to the CDC.
· Direct Tax Collections for FY 2017-18 Show Growth of 18.2% up to December, 2017
- The provisional figures of Direct Taxcollections up to December 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.56 lakh crore which is 18.2% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year.
- The net Direct Tax collections represent 67% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for Financial Year 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore).
- Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 12.6% to Rs. 7.68 lakh crore from April to December 2017.
- An amount of Rs. 3.18 lakh crore has been received as Advance Tax up to December 2017 reflecting a growth of 12.7% over the Advance Tax payments of the corresponding period of last year.
- The growth in Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Advance Tax is 10.9% and that in Personal Income Tax (PIT) Advance Tax is 21.6%.
· Indian Railways Launches Transparent and Efficient New Online Vendor Registration System
- Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of Ministry of Railways, launched “New Online Vendor Registration System”.
- This new system provides major improvements and big changes in the registration system over the earlier system.
- Public access to the information, expeditious process completion with defined timelines, simplification of procedures, round-the-year services, availability of all related information on RDSO Website, constant monitoring at all levels, reduction in cycle timelines, regular updating of online data, user-friendly interface etc. are the hallmarks of the new system.
· Delhi Government Launches Common Card for Bus & Metro Rides
- Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal launched acommon card for rides on public buses and the metro.
- Delhi is the first city in the country to have a common mobility card, which can at present be used on 200 DTC and 50 cluster buses plying on different routes, apart from metro trains.
- The card, which will function like a debit card, will be operational in all DTC and cluster buses from April 2018.
· Anchal Thakur Bags Bronze India’s 1st International Medal in Skiing
- Aanchal Thakurmade history as she won India’s first ever international medal in skiing.
- The 21-year-old Manali resident clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup.
- The Championship was organized by the Federation Internationale de Ski (skiing’s international governing body) in Erzurum, Turkey. She won the medal in the slalom race category.
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