Monday, 10 September 2018

8th, 9th & 10th September 2018 | Assam daily current affairs for competitive exam

  • Manipur Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with VFS Global to introduce Citizen Centric Service Delivery System by establishing Citizen Facilitation Centre under Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD) department in the State. People need not go to different offices for getting documents or delivery services like birth certificate, income certificate, caste certificate, ration card, Aadhaar card, marriage certificate, driving license and education enrolment, etc., as all these services would be made available at the Facilitation Centre to be opened at ISBT, Khuman Lampak in Imphal East. In addition, Visa facility for many predetermined countries like France, Italy, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, UK, Thailand, etc., will also be made available to the public
  • Dibrugarh district bagged an award for its outstanding performance in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana in the country from the northeastern zone. Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana is a maternity benefit programme run by the Government of India and implemented by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for the first live birth. It provides partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition, besides feeding practices.
  • Nagaland ranked second least in the number of suicide cases in the country with 0.9 per cent cases (21 suicides) in 2015 behind Bihar with 0.5 per cent. A report published by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), however, said there was an increase in the number of suicides compared to 2014, which recorded only 13 cases. In North East, NCRB recorded 12,801 cases from 2001 to 2012, with men showing more suicidal tendencies than women. Maharashtra recorded the highest suicide cases with 16,307 followed by Tamil Nadu with 16,122, West Bengal with 14,310, Karnataka 10,945 and Telengana 9,623, the WHO research found. According to Lancet Psychiatry 2015 journal, unemployment accounted for 45,000 suicides in a year including workplace stress such as job strain and occupational uncertainty. Inter-personal relationships that include family factors, romantic relationship and conflict in romantic relationships contribute significantly towards suicidal behaviour as per Aspalan 2003 research
  • The North East Adventure Tourism Festival, 2018 is being organised at Bagamati in Baksa district with a four-day-long programme from September 13 under the aegis of the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), Guwahati. The title sponsor of the festival is the North Eastern Council (NEC), Shillong and the co-sponsors are the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), ATDC of Assam, Bodoland Tourism, Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare of Assam and Tourism of India. 
  • The Meghalaya Government today decided to increase the recruitment age of teachers by five years, stating that the move is aimed at getting “quality teachers” for schools and colleges across the State. The decision to increase the upper age limit was taken after a Cabinet meeting here. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said candidates would be able to apply for posts of teachers up to the age of 37 years from now onwards. 

Asian Games

  • Ankur Mittal claimed the men’s double trap gold medal in the ISSF World Championship for his career’s biggest triumph, as the Indian shooting team continued its dominance in the premier tournament here Saturday. 
  • Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam singles title on Saturday as her idol Serena Williams angrily imploded, calling the chair umpire in the US Open final “a thief”. Osaka, 20, triumphed 6-2, 6-4 in the match marred by Williams’s second set outburst, the American enraged by umpire Carlos Ramos’s warning for receiving coaching from her box. 
  • There was no stopping the golden run of India’s junior shooters with Hriday Hazarika claiming the 10m air rifle top honours before the women’s team combined for a new world record and gold at the ISSF World Championships. Four podium finishes on the sixth day of competition took India’s tally to 18, their best-ever showing in the International Shooting Sport Federation’s (ISSF) premier tournament. The country’s previous best was the six medals won during the 49th edition in Zagreb, Croatia. Hazarika, the lone Indian to qualify for the men’s final with a score of 627.3, was tied with Iran’s Mohammed Amir Nekounam on 250.1 once the field was pruned to the regulation top eight.

Inland Vessels Act way back in 1917

  • The Inland Vessels Act, 1917 clearly indicated that all mechanically propelled boats having outboard engines should come under the purview of the Act and the Act is applicable to the entire country except Jammu and Kashmir. The Act is also not applicable for fishing boats and the boats registered under Merchant Shipping rules. The Act clearly stated that no mechanically propelled boat would start a voyage without a certificate of survey. The respective State governments would have to appoint surveyors for carrying out detailed survey of the passenger carrying mechanically propelled boats to ensure their fitness and issue a certificate. 
  • The boats can ply on inland waters only after receiving such certificate from the government appointed surveyors. The surveyors would have to check all aspects of fitness of the boats including the engines and other parts before issuing such a certificate. The certificates would be given for one year only and after that a fresh survey would have to be carried out and the surveyors would have to be satisfied about the fitness of the vessels before issuing renewal certificate. 
  • No boat should be allowed to ply during the period of expiry of the certificate and renewal of the same, the Act said. According to the Act, the number of passengers that a vessel can carry should be certified. 
  • Similarly, the nature and amount of cargo that a vessel can carry should also be certified and that can change from time to time depending on the time of the year. But the engine-fitted country boats plying in the Brahmaputra and other rivers of the State often carry more passengers than the prescribed limit and the authorities concerned never bothered to check it, thereby putting the lives of the passengers at risk.
  • The Act made by the British clearly indicated that all boats should be registered and a boat registered in one State should not be allowed to operate in another State. This rule is also flouted as engine-fitted country boats are plying without any registration and the government does not have the number of such boats plying in the rivers of the State. 
  • The Act also said the government can cancel the registration of any boat if the owner violates any of the rules. But in case of Assam, as the boats are not even registered, there is no question of cancellation of registration.
  • The Act outlined the qualifications that those plying the boats should be checked. There should be proper examination of the “masters” of the boats, the Act said. But this provision of the Act is not implemented in Assam as no one knows whether those steering the boats are qualified to do so or not.

Aspirational District, Barpeta under NITI Aayog has launched a campaign to set up libraries in all the primary schools of the district. 

  • It is targeting around 300 schools of Bhawanipur Block in the first phase as a pilot project to know and understand the transformation in student learning outcomes through library. The basic objective of taking up library as an essential indicator, is to improve the reading and writing skills of the students.
  • Piramal Foundation has oriented the district on various innovative models of libraries that are cost effective and more feasible. Concepts like reading corners in the classroom and hanging library were suggested where the schools have no space or no infrastructure. 
  • The Piramal Team of Barpeta assigned by NITI Aayog feels that the major focus should be in creating a functional library and therefore the team has introduced a Process Maturity Model (PMM) for Library which is a guide book for proper implementation of an effective library.

A secretariat of the REDD+Working Group was established at the Rain Forest Research Institute (RFRI) at Sotai here on Thursday for sharing of knowledge and information relevant for REDD+ Himalayas Project being implemented in the northeastern States, a press communique issued by RFRI said.

  • REDD+ refers to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries and role of conservation of forest carbon stock. The REDD+ Working Group for North Eastern States in a meeting held at the RFRI also prepared a roadmap for implementation of REDD+ initiatives in the region, the communique stated.
  • The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has also reaffirmed the role of REDD+ action to meet climate change mitigation goals at global levels. India is one of the partner countries for preparation of a national strategy or action plan for implementing REDD+. REDD+ aims to assist developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conserve forest carbon stocks, sustainably manage forests and enhance forest carbon stocks, the release mentioned.
  • The Indian Council of Forest, Research and Environment (ICFRE), Dehradun under which RFRI operates, is an implementing agency. The ICFRE in collaboration with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development has initiated a project on REDD+ Himalayas, the release stated.
  • Under this project, capacity-building is being focused on the northeastern States of India. The programme aims to provide assistance for developing and implementation of REDD+ actions, focusing on training, technology-sharing, and knowledge dissemination.
  • The expected outcome is a strategy and action plan at each level, community, sub national, State and national levels and improved understanding of scientific knowledge for precise estimation of carbon stocks. In order to initiate and scale up REDD +actions in the northeastern States, a REDD+Working Group was formed to facilitate action in these States under the REDD+Himalayas Project.
  • The REDD+Working Group comprises the director of RFRI as the chairperson and a nominated scientist of RFRI as member-secretary and 13 members representing the northeastern States as well as Kolkata and the Assistant Director-General, Biodiversity and Climate Change, ICFRE

In a big boost to greater adjutant stork conservation efforts at Dadara and the adjoining areas, BirdLife International has declared the Dadara-Pasariya-Singimari belt as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).

  • This area, which has witnessed a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the endangered greater adjutant stork (hargila) – thanks to the pioneering initiative by Purnima Devi Barman since the past one decade – comprises three adjacent villages in a semi-urban area on the city outskirts on the north bank of the Brahmaputra.
  • BirdLife International, in its recognition of the Dadara complex under IBA CRITERIA: A1 (Globally Threatened species), has acknowledged the community conservation efforts in the area.
  • “The area has the largest nesting colony of the endangered greater adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius). The villages have houses with tin/thatch/concrete roof and almost every household has a few trees in their compound. Greater adjutants build nests in these private village gardens. They prefer tall trees and mainly nest on Neolamarckia cadamba, Bombax ceiba, Artocarpus lacucha, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Pithecellobium monadelphum and Archidendron bigeminum. Sometimes, up to 15 nests are found on one tree,” it said.
  • While only 31 numbers of the greater adjutant stork – perhaps the most threatened stork in the world – were found in 15 trees in the area during a survey by ornithologist Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury in March 2006, the birds colonised new trees and with the conservation movement gaining momentum, 152 successful nests were recorded in 2012-13.
  • Purnima said that the IBA recognition would be a big morale booster for the villagers engaged in adjutant stork conservation. “It is a recognition of the community conservation initiative. It will motivate the villagers more to sustain the conservation efforts,” she said.
  • BirdLife has noted that “thanks to the community work done by Purnima Devi Barman in the area, since 2010 not a single incident of cutting greater adjutant nesting trees has been reported and people have now accepted this species in their area.”
  • Significantly, a few white-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis) have also been recorded in the area, while the slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) – once plentiful – has not been seen in recent years. Both these species are listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red Data Book. The lesser adjutant stork – a vulnerable species – is also found in the nearby fields.
  • Being a semi-urban area, not many mammals of conservation concern are found in this IBA. Only a few golden jackals (Canis aureus) and jungle cat (Felis chaus) are met with,” Birdlife notes.
  • An IBA is an area identified using an internationally agreed set of criteria as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations. The IBA was developed and sites are identified by BirdLife. Currently, there are over 12,000 IBAs worldwide. These sites are small enough to be entirely conserved and differ in their character, habitat or ornithological importance from the surrounding habitat.
  • BirdLife aims to identify, protect and manage a network of sites that are significant for the long-term viability of naturally occurring bird populations. Many sites are also important for other forms of biodiversity, so the conservation of IBAs ensures the survival of a correspondingly large number of other animals and plants.


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