· Rajasthan faces water crisis with decline in groundwater
ð Rajasthan is facing a severe water crisis, with a decadal average study has inferring that there has been a decline in groundwater by 62.70% in the state with only 37.20% rise. The decadal average was counted from November 2008 to November 2018.
ð The study was conducted by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) on 928 stations in the state. Rise is mostly in south to south central, north western, western and west central parts of the state. About 62.70% stations, scattered mostly in eastern, southwestern, north eastern and north central parts, shows decline in water level.
ð In various parts of Rajasthan, people have taken to streets to protest against the depleting water level and there are 19 blocks in the state that come under dark zones. The reason for this is the extraction of groundwater at a faster rate than its recharge, especially when the monsoon was poor.
- Sittwe Port in Myanmar- constructed with India’s assistance
- The construction of Sittwe Port is part of the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project. Its objective is to create a multi-modal sea, river and road transport corridor for shipment of cargo from the eastern ports of India to Myanmar through Sittwe port as well as to North-Eastern part of India via Myanmar.
- Once fully operational, the project would encourage investment and trade and also open up alternate routes for connectivity to India’s North East Region.
· ASI declared 6 monuments of National Importance in 2018
♦ The 125-year-old Old High Court Building in Nagpur, Maharashtra;
♦ Two Mughal-era monuments in Agra – Haveli of Agha Khan and Hathi Khana;
♦ The ancient Neemrana Baori in Rajasthan’s Alwar district;
♦ The Group of Temples at Ranipur Jharail in Odisha’s Bolangir district;
♦ The Vishnu Temple in Kotali, Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand
are the Six monuments that have been listed.
- In 2016 and 2017, no new monument was included in the list of sites of national importance.
- The last monument to be included in the list, in 2015, was the Vishnu Temple in Nadavayal in Kerala’s Wayanad district.
- Maharashtra to host 2nd edition of Khelo India Youth Games
- Maharashtra is all set to host the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games which will officially begin on 09 January in Pune.
- More than 9000 players from different states will participate in 18 different games at Khelo India Youth Games.
- It was introduced by Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs to revive sports culture in India at grass-root level. Its objective is to build strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as great sporting nation.
· Cabinet cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill
- TheJoint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016recommended that the Assam government should help settle migrants especially in places which are not densely populated, thus, causing a lesser impact on the demographic changes and providing succour to the indigenous Assamese people.
- The Union Cabinetcleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill and it will be tabled in Parliament. The Bill paves the way to grant citizenship to six religious minorities: Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, and Buddhists, from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.
- The BJP-ruled Assam showed strong resistance to the bill as it would pave the way for giving citizenship for people came after March 1971 in Assam, which adds burden to the State, in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985.
· Cabinet approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10 percent reservation
- The Cabinet approved a Constitution Amendment Billto provide 10% reservation to the economically backward sections in the general category. The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.
- The quota will be over and above the existing50% reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBC). The government is likely to bring a Constitution Amendment bill in Parliament. According to article 368, the Bill must be passed in each House by an absolute majority (over 50% of total membership) and a two-thirds majority of members present and voting.
Eligibility of the people
♦ People earning Iess lakh annually
♦ People who own farm land below 5 acres
♦ People own a measuring less than 1,000 sq ft
♦ In its famous lndra Sawhney judgment, the Supreme Court had set a ap of 50% on quotas
♦ A Constitutional Amendment Bill would be required as the Constitution does not provide for reservation on the ground of economic conditions. It envisages Amendments to Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution.
· A 70-point grading index is launched to assess the quality of school education
- The HRD ministry introduced a 70-point grading index to assess the quality of school education offered by states.
- A state performance grading will be done wherein the states will be marked out of 1,000 scores on 70 parameters.
- By doing so the ministry expects that it will give the correct picture of where every state stands and will create an atmosphere of a fair competition to improve each other’s performances.
- In another move the ministry has also decided to print more books of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as against only 2 crore books two years ago.
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