16.10.18 APSC (Assam) Current Affairs

ASSAM

 

  • Case study – Guwahati’s flash flood problem

 

  • Waterlogging has become a severe problem in most cities in India. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of urban flood disasters in India, in which major cities across the country have been severely affected. It has been observed in most cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati that the intensity of floods has a certain relation with unplanned growth of urban areas that are under tremendous demographic pressure.

 

  • Several factors contribute to flash floods. The two key elements are rainfall intensity and duration. Intensity is the rate of rainfall, and duration is how long the rain lasts. Topography, soil conditions and ground cover also play important roles.

 

  • Waterlogging or rain-fed flood is now being considered a natural calamity. This hazard affects cities economically leaving a prolonged and wide-range negative impact.

 

  • Flash flood inundation and waterlogging has been a major problem in several parts of Guwahati city in the last few years.

 

  • The unabated cutting of earth and green cover in the hills of Meghalaya bordering Assam has also caused considerable siltation problems in rivers, rivulets and drains of Guwahati, besides creating runoff problems which causes flash floods.

 

  • A major reason of flash floods in Guwahati is water coming down from the hills. Urban planning schemes of watershed management in the hills should be implemented using modern technology.

 

  • For the movement of storm water during monsoon season, the existing natural drain channels need to be cleared of garbage. The rivulet channels should be kept clear of any waste. The interconnectivity of these natural drains can be handy in directing the flood water from the city quickly. Encroachments over drain channels should also be removed. Also, the government needs to plan a systematic storm water drainage system.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

  • World Students’ Day: 15 October

 

  • World Students’ Day is observed to mark the birthday of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. It is observed on Kalam’s birthday, 15 October.

 

  • In 2015 the United Nations declared 15 October “World Students’ Day”.

 

 

  • Kalam was the 11th president of India.

 

 

 

NATIONAL

 

·        Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi launched

  • Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi was launched in Delhi by the Union Minister for Earth Sciences and Environment, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

 

  • The System is designed to predict extreme air pollution events and give alerts to take necessary steps as per Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Government of India.

 

  • The air pollution system has been developed jointly by the scientists at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India Meteorological Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).

 

·        Government launches award scheme under ‘Saubhagya’

  • Awards would be provided for achieving 100 per cent household electrification at DISCOM/Power Department level of the States.

 

  • Eight States which have already achieved more than 99 per cent household electrification prior to launch of Saubhagya (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu), are ineligible for participation under the award scheme. All the remaining States and their Discoms are eligible for the award.

·        Drought conditions in 1/3rd of districts

 

  • The June-september monsoon, which was 9% below normal, has caused drought-like conditions in almost a third of the districts in India, putting farmers in these high-deficiency areas under stress, data from the India Meteorological Department and reports from states showed. Over 200 districts received below-average rainfall this year.

 

  • Ahead of a general election next year, rural distress will likely keep the Modi government under pressure from farmers already battling higher cultivation costs, pricier diesel needed to run farm equipment and poor returns due to a slump in commodity prices.

 

·        Centre is to set up a committee to deal issues raised by Metoo India movement

 

  • Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhiannounced that the Centre is to set up a committee of judges and lawyers to examine the existing legal and institutional framework. The committee is to deal with complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace that are emanating from the#MeTooIndia movement.
  • The move comes even as the government is yet to make a statement on allegations by several women journalists against Minister of State for External Affairs J. Akbar.

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