- Bid to provide more powers to Centre to form River Basin Authority
- The Draft Inter-State River Basin Management Bill, 2018 (DIRBMB-2018) is seemed to be an attempt at providing more powers to the Union Government in matters of formation of the River Basin Authority, contrary to the provisions of the Indian Constitution, which has kept water as a State subject.
- The Bill has identified 13 inter-State rivers of the country to be covered under its subsequent legislation, and over which River Basin Management Authorities will be set up. This list includes the Brahmaputra, the Barak and their inter-State tributaries in northeast India.
- Besides the mainstreams of the Brahmaputra and the Barak, there are a number of their tributaries, which flow through more than one State or have their basin areas spread over more than one State. They are like the Teesta, the Subansiri, the Jia Bharali, the Gai, the Ranganadi, the Dikrong, the Jiadhal, the Dibang, the Lohit, the Noa Dihing, the Buri Dihing, the Dhansiri-Doyang, the Kopili and the Kulsi in the Brahmaputra River Basin and the Tlawng (Dhaleswari) and the Tuivawl, tributaries to the Barak River.
- There are major hydropower projects being constructed or cleared and planned on several such inter-State rivers. Most of these projects are not in conformity with the principles being promoted by the Bill. In this connection, one may consider the Ranganadi Hydroelectric Power Project (HEP), Lower Subansiri HEP, Demwe HEP, Dibang Multipurpose Project, Doyang HEP, Tipaimukh HEP etc.
- Once the Bill becomes an Act, it will be imperative for the River Basin Authorities concerned to ensure that such projects adhere to the principles promoted by this Bill, like equity, sustainability, basin approach to development and management of water resources, unified perspectives of water in all its forms (including soil moisture, ground and surface water), cooperative management, inter-State collaboration and coordination, integrated basin management etc.
· World Bank Human Capital Index: Singapore Tops, India Ranks 115th
- World Bank released the Human Capital Index (HCI) as part of the World Development Report 2019. Broader theme of the World Development Report (WDR) this year is“The Changing Nature of Work”.
- The World Bank has launched a Human Capital Project (HCP).
- The HCI has been constructed for 157 countries. The HCI for India has been estimated at 0.44.
- The Index was released at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
- Singapore topped the poll after it was highly rated for its universal health care system, education exams results and life expectancy figures.
· Delhi, Moscow signed Twin-City Agreement
- The agreements in the fields of environment, culture and educationare updated for the next 3 years.
- The agreement was signed by Minister of the Moscow City government and head of its international relations Sergey Cheremin and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
- First India-Israel Innovation Centre opens in Bengaluru
- The first India-Israel Innovation Centre (IIIC), an entrepreneurial technology hub, was launched in Bengaluru.
- The IIIC is a significant step towards facilitating penetration of Israeli companies in India and aims to forge local partnerships and joint ventures between companies from the two countries.
- It will provide an ecosystem to support entrepreneurship, partnership with vendors, mentoring and non-formal community development that will assist the growth of the companies in different verticals and covers business, technology, investors and customers.
- Sikkim’s 100% organic farming wins FAO’s Future Policy Gold Award
- Sikkim has won the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state.
- Uniquely, the state has totally banned the sale and use of chemical pesticides.
- Sikkim beat out 51 other nominees from around the world for the award.
· Union Government sanctions 5 new battalions of Rapid Action Force (RAF)
- Five new battalions of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were sanctioned by the central government in January 2018 and their new bases have been sanctioned now.
- The 5 new Rapid Action Force (RAF) battalions will be based in:
Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
Jaipur in Rajasthan
Mangalore in Karnataka
Hajipur in Bihar
Nuh in Haryana
· Special Central Government Package for Footwear and Leather Sector
- Central Government has approved a special package for generation of employment in leather and footwear sector.
- The package consist of implementation of Central Sector Scheme Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) with approved expenditure of Rs. 2600 Crore for 2017-20.
- Under IFL ADP 4 projects worth 107.33 crore have been approved in Tamil Nadu by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
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