Friday, 17 August 2018

15th - 17th August 2018 | Assam daily current affairs for APSC

  • India's first Humboldt Penguin chick was hatched at the Mumbai Zoo, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officially announced here on Thursday.
  • Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar passed away on Wednesday,15 August after a prolonged illness. He was 77. Wadekar, who played 37 Tests, led India to historic triumphs in the West Indies and England in the 1970s. Under him, India won five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s before beating England in a three-match series.
  • Gauhati University has been granted ‘A’ grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). It has scored 3.04 (CGPA) on a four-point scale. The university was last accredited by the NAAC in 2010 with ‘B’ grade when it had scored a CGPA of 2.92.
  • A land policy is being prepared by the State government to protect the land rights of the indigenous people of Assam. This was announced by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal during his customary Independence Day speech at the College of Veterinary Science playground here on Wednesday. 
  • The NF Railway has detected 74,432 ticketless travellers and those travelling without proper tickets during the month of July and realised an amount of Rs 5.33 crore as penalty from such individuals. This is a big jump from the Rs 4.84 crore that had been realised during the corresponding month last year from 70,057 persons found travelling without tickets or with improper tickets
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced a manned mission to space by 2022. 

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of India’s most charismatic leaders who led the nation through several crises while holding together a tenuous coalition with his inclusive politics and superlative oratory, passes away At 93.  
  • The former Prime Minister's birthday on December 25 is celebrated as Good Governance Day, was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 2014 at his home.
  • The last rites of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will take place at 4 pm on 18th August at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that women officers recruited under the short service commission in the armed forces will have the option of taking up permanent commission.
  • Government is likely to come out with a comprehensive policy in the next couple of months on permanent commissioning of women in the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force.
  • The three services have allowed permanent recruitment of women in select streams including medical, education, legal, signals, logistics, engineering and several other streams. The women officers recruited through the SSC in the IAF have the option of seeking permanent commission in all streams except the flying branch.
  • Navy has allowed permanent commission of women in a host of departments such as logistics, naval designing, air traffic control, engineering and legal.
  • The Army offers permanent commission to women officers in two branches judge advocate general (JAG) and education.
  • Both the Navy and the IAF recruit women pilots under SSC.
  • The Army recruits women officers under SSC for streams like air defence, engineering, signals and services.
  • Under SSC, officers are allowed tenures ranging from five to 14 years of services. Permanent commission allows them to serve till the age of retirement.

Dr Manobjyoti Bordoloi, Senior Principal Scientist & Head of Chemical Science and Technology division of North East Institute of Science & Technology, Jorhat was conferred the Venus International Research Award (VIRA) in the category of ‘Lifetime Achievement’ in Chemistry at Radha Regent, Chennai, India

In a bid to augment better academic ties between India and Bangladesh, Assam University, Silchar recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Daffodil International University, a leading private varsity of Dhaka. The MoU was signed in Dhaka by Prof Dilip Chandra Nath, Vice Chancellor of Assam University and SM Mehbub Ul Haque Mazumder, pro-Vice Chancellor of Daffodil International University, Dhaka along with other academicians of the collaborating institutes.

On the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day, 32 Assam Police personnel have been awarded police medals.
  • The President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) has been awarded to three personnel – ASP Tabu Ram Pegu and constables Ramen Kalita and Hemanta Rajbongshi. 
  • The President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service has been awarded to two state personnel – DIG Rana Bhuyan and constable (Tinsukia) Hardon Sah. Twenty seven personnel have received Police Medal for Meritorious Service. 
  • The President’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished/Meritorious Services has been conferred upon three Fire & Emergency Services personnel from Assam. The President’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service has been conferred upon Ghanashyam Choudhury, Senior Station Officer, Fire & Emergency Services, HQ, Assam. 
  • On the other hand, Sub-Officer, Fire & Emergency Services, Assam, Dharma Kanta Gogoi and Leading Fireman, Fire & Emergency Services, HQ, Assam, Rajat Chandra Patgiri have been conferred with the President’s Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said a major healthcare initiative to give medical insurance cover to 50 crore Indians will roll out from September 25 -the 102nd birth anniversary of Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Deendayal Upadhyay.
  • "Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan will be launched on September 25 to ensure that the poor get access to good quality and affordable healthcare. 
  • The initiative of the government will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians," Modi said in his last Independence Day speech before the general elections next year. The scheme is billed as the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme. Also called "Modicare", it aims at providing medical insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family annually, benefiting more than 10 crore poor families in the country. 
  • While most States already provide a cover of up to Rs 2 lakh to families necessarily not below the poverty line, the new scheme subsumes these programmes into the national initiative.

Focus Article: Vision needed for proposed Greater Guwahati Metropolitan Region - Parangam Sarma Basistha

  • GUWAHATI, the gateway to the North East, is experiencing tremendous growth in population, urbanisation, and migration from different districts of Assam and from small and medium northeastern towns, which has created a huge deficit in urban amenities and infrastructure of the city. Unplanned growth of the city and ignorance towards development of the hinterland or peri-urban areas have created unbalanced development, bringing about major disturbances in the urban-rural linkages. 
  • Guwahati is growing in population from almost 5,00,000 in 1991 to 9,68,549 in 2011. The population density of the city is recorded at 4,455 persons per sq km. The physical expansion of the city grew from 43.28 sq km in 1971 to 262 sq km in 2001 and presently to 328 sq km. Such growth demands improved infrastructural provision, land use developments, housing and allied services, residential and commercial areas, affordable townships, open areas, industries, and most importantly, provision of jobs.
  • Guwahati experiences rapid migration and also floating population from its economic sub-centres like Nalbari, Barpeta, Tihu, Sipajhar, Borkhetri, Sualkuchi, Sarthebari, Sonapur, Goalpara, Palasbari, Hajo, Changsari, Chaygaon, etc. The city is served by these towns in terms of labour force, goods and services, agricultural products, milk and meat, green and leafy vegetables and other perishable and non-perishable products. The mother city Guwahati, in return, acts as a hub for generation of secondary and tertiary services and as a centre for economic growth. This region around Guwahati possesses a high degree of resource potential and can be planned for economic, social and environmental development for holistic growth and development of the entire region.
  • A city’s physical expansion and requirement of higher degree of services to serve the population are an inevitable process. Expansion and development of cities and their dependent regions need to be effectively planned, envisioned with a holistic regional development approach that incorporates the wide aspects of opportunities, issues and concerns of development. 
  • The regional plan is often seen as a plan for balanced development that reduces competition of resource utilisation and minimises leapfrog development between different places within the region. Regional planning can help in reducing disparities, minimising push-and-pull effects of migration, utilises underutilised resources and takes into account economic, social and environmental goals – thus ensuring sustainability.
  • Keeping in mind the effective development of Guwahati and the region, the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has proposed a metropolitan region with a total area of 3,471 sq km. The Greater Guwahati Metropolitan Region includes parts of five districts – Kamrup (Metro), Kamrup, Nalbari, Darrang and Morigaon. The new Greater Guwahati Metropolitan Region (GMR) has been proposed to include 30 urban centres and 1,061 villages of 15 revenue circles. 
  • As per the 2011 census, the total population of the proposed GMR is 24 lakh, distributed in 48 per cent urban and 52 per cent rural areas. The proposed area of GMR includes reserve forest and forest (1072.14 sq km), water bodies excluding the Brahmaputra (261.61 sq km) and including the Brahmaputra (141 sq km). The GMR will include areas like Azara, Chandrapur, North Guwahati, Guwahati GMDA area, Sonapur, Barkhetri, Hajo, Chaygaon, Kamalpur, Goroimari, Palasbari, Sipajhar and Mayong. All these areas possess potentiality for growth and development in the agricultural sector, agro-based industries, and tourism with the satisfactory level of literacy rate of 91 per cent in the average and available workforce.
  • The socio-economic profile of GMR shows a high level of main worker rate (77 per cent), but indicates less participation in the workforce (39 per cent). This indicates that though literacy rate is more in the region, there are some hidden reasons that are not allowing the youth population in this region to join the workforce. Less availability of jobs or decreasing interest of the youths in the traditional agrarian economy might be the probable cause behind this.
  • A detailed investigation shows that each of the major towns of GMR exhibits a unique character and resource potential which can be brought under one umbrella for balanced regional growth. Hajo is famous for brass and bell metal industries and as a religious place for Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. The socio-economic profile of Hajo consists of trading, small-scale business, brass products, agriculture, fishing and pottery making. The new Saraighat Bridge over the Brahmaputra has improved connectivity to Hajo-Nalbari from Guwahati. The Deepor Beel can be a place of interest due to its ecological and hydrological services.
  • Nalbari has the potential for growth as an education sub-centre and as a health city after Guwahati. Chaygaon, on the south bank, is historically important and can be treated as an industrial growth centre. Agro-based economic activities can be established by taking advantage of the available resources around Chaygaon.
  • The North Guwahati areas possess a high potential to grow. The economic base of Sipajhar in Darrang district is agriculture with other allied activities such as fishery, handicraft, animal husbandry, weaving, etc. Mayong in Morigaon district, which is historically known for its magic and necromancy, can be developed as a tourist destination. Different small-scale industries include the Jagiroad Paper Mill and dry fish market at Jagiroad, which is famous as one of the largest dry fish markets in Asia where about 4,000 people are engaged directly or indirectly.
  • Apart from all potentialities or opportunities, the GMR is flooded with problems related to growth and development. Some common infrastructural issues are water supply, floods, connectivity and condition of roads, waste treatment, drainage and condition of canals, housing, low living condition, vehicular traffic, lack of organised public amenities, etc. that degrade the overall quality of life.
  • Most of the areas in the GMR are fascinated with the “display effect” of the city, which is forcing the educated workforce to migrate to Guwahati. The whole area is dominated by the primacy of Guwahati and dwellers of the GMR are becoming dependent on the prime city for health care, education, jobs, recreational activities, etc. 
  • Moreover, social issues like uneven income distribution, dislike or less interest in traditional agriculture, low rate of workforce participation, less participation of literate women in the economy, low level of awareness and lack of encouragement/enthusiasm to participate in development are prevalent in the region.
  • The GMR region has ample opportunities as well as constraints for regional development that need to be envisioned before its development. The vision for the region may include strong urban-rural linkage, revitalisation of existing canals and rivers, transport connectivity, policy for development of residential spaces and preservation of ecological diversity, creation of satellite spaces, development of home-based economy, development of tourism in Hajo, Kamakhya, Deepor Beel and Mayong, improvement of quality of life etc. 
  • Moreover, socio-economic assessment, environmental impact analysis, techno-economic feasibility study, input-output analysis, and regional suitability study should be conducted before the initiation of development process of the GMR to achieve a balanced, efficient and holistic regional development.

  • Mizoram is one of the highest growing economies among Indian States, along with Gujarat, Jharkhand and Tripura, that recorded above 8 per cent growth rate during the last four years, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said here on Wednesday.
  • "With the introduction of New Land Use Programme (NLUP) and New Economic Development Policy (NEDP), today Mizoram is one of the highest growing economies among the States in the country," the Chief Minister said after unfurling the National Flag at the Independence Day function at the Assam Rifles ground here.
  • "Mizoram ranks first among the small Sates and second among all States in health index prepared by the World Bank Group and NITI Aayog. The State has the second highest literacy rate in the country.
  • "With the implementation of various Central-sponsored schemes and the State's flagship programmes -- NLUP in 2011 and NEDP in 2016, there have been notable achievements in agriculture and allied sectors. NLUP has been a substantial contributor in the decline of 'jhum' (shifting cultivation) area by 31.37 per cent during the last six years.
  • "Assistance was given to around 18,000 beneficiaries in the first phase and second phase under the NLUP and NEDP," he added.
  • The Chief Minister said that out of the cumulative figure of Rs 2,000 crore set aside for NEDP by the State government for three years (2016-2019), about 85 per cent was provisioned for infrastructure development and operation and maintenance of public infrastructures.
  • "Mizoram Economic Conclave 2018, the first of its kind, was organised in April to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities in the process of economic growth focusing more on the role of agricultural sector including skills and entrepreneurship development.
  • "'My Project, My NEDP', is another important initiative under the NEDP which is intended to enable public participation in the formulation of major development project of common public utility."
  • He said in the recent "Magnetic Mizoram Investors Summit", the state signed a letter of intent worth Rs 600 crore in solar energy and Rs 1,500 crore in hospitality sectors with private investors.
  • The Chief Minister said that in a major breakthrough, the political level "peace talk" between Mizoram government and the terrorist outfit -- Hmar People's Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) - was held under a cordial environment culminating with the signing of an accord and laying down of arms by the 114 militants.
  • He said that Mizoram has been declared the 13th Open Defecation Free State in the country on March 30.

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