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  1. New Panel to protect Assam’s Heritage
  • The Union Cabinet decided to set up a high-level committee to recommend how to provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to the indigenous people of Assam, including by reserving seats in the state assembly.
  • The decision has been taken according to the Assam Accord signed in 1985 which envisaged that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
  • The panel will also assess the requirement of measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of the state, quantum of reservation in employment under the government of Assam and other measures to protect Assamese heritage.
  • The composition and terms of reference of the committee will be issued separately by the ministry of home affairs.

Related Information

  • The Cabinet also approved a number of measures to fulfill the outstanding issues related to the Bodo community.
  • The Bodo Accord was signed in 2003 which resulted in the establishment of a Bodoland Territorial.
  • The Cabinet approved the establishment of a Bodo Museum-cum-language and cultural study center, modernization of existing All India Radio station and Doordarshan Kendra.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- The Hindu

  1. Exotic trees eating up Western Ghat’s grasslands
  • In the latest studies, it has been found that the country lost almost one-fourth of high-altitude grasslands of the Western Ghats over four decades.
  • The exotic invasive trees are primarily responsible to it.

Related Information

  • Earlier, the satellite images revealed that 60% of the shola-grassland landscape has changed; almost 40% (516 km2) of native high-elevation grasslands have disappeared.
  • Most of this loss occurred on the mountain tops of the Nilgiri, Palani and Annamalai hill ranges, which comprise more than half of the Ghat’s shola-grassland ecosystems.
  • It’s primarily due to the expansion of exotic trees (pine, acacia, and eucalyptus).
  • Later in 2018, scientists decided to study how shola-grasslands across the Ghats – from the Baba Budan Hills in Karnataka to Tamil Nadu’s Ashambu Hills – changed in extent between 1972 and 2017.
  • Broadly, shola-grassland ecosystems in Tamil Nadu showed the highest rates of invasion.
  • The immediate reaction should be taken to remove all exotics including mature plantations from grasslands.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Environment

Source- The Hindu

     3. Agri Export Zones

  • The concept of Agri Export Zone (AEZ) was introduced in 2001, through EXIM Policy 1997-2001.
  • It takes a comprehensive look at a particular produce/product located in a contiguous area for the purpose of developing and sourcing the raw materials, their processing/packaging, leading to final exports.
  • The concept hinged primarily on:
    (a) the convergence of existing Central and State Government schemes to take care of financial interventions required at various stages of the value chain;
    (b) the partnership among various stakeholders viz. Central Government, State Government, farmer, processor, exporter etc.; and
    (c) focus on targeted products and areas to identify required policy interventions.
  • All these activities did take place in certain respects in the notified Agri Export Zones.
  • In December 2004, an internal peer review conducted by the Department of Commerce concluded that the notified AEZs had not been able to achieve the intended objectives.
  • It was decided that there will be no creation of new AEZs unless there were strong and compelling reasons.
  • No new AEZs have been set up after 2004.
  • All the notified AEZs have completed their intended span of 5 years and have been discontinued.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Economics

Source-PIB

    4. RBI launches SRPHi

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched Survey on Retail Payment Habits of Individuals (SRPHi).
  • The Survey will capture payment habits of individuals in cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Guwahati.

Related Information

  • Sigma Research & Consulting Pvt Ltd has been engaged by RBI to conduct the fieldwork of the survey.
  • Around 6000 individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds across six cities would be covered under the survey.
  • The survey seeks qualitative responses from individuals on their payment habits.
  • The findings of the survey will provide insights into awareness and usage habits of digital payment products.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Economics

Source- Financial Express

  1. Kerala women form ‘wall’ to uphold gender equality against Sabrimala protests
  • Number’s of women from across Kerala formed a 620-km long Women’s Wall, that stretched from Kasargod in northern Kerala to the southernmost district of Thiruvananthapuram, to uphold gender equality and renaissance values.
  • This was a state-sponsored move done in the backdrop of protests in Sabarimala due to Supreme Court’s decision to all women to pray at the Ayyappa shrine.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- The Hindu

  1. Krishak Bodhu Scheme
  • West Bengal government announced Krishak Bondhu Scheme for the welfare of Farmer.
  • Under this scheme, if a farmer aged between 18 to 60 years dies a natural or unnatural death, the state government will pay his family Rs 2 lakh.

Related Information

  • Other initiative was taken by West Bengal Government in which farmers would get Rs 2,500 twice a year for growing a single crop on one acre of land.
  • The West Bengal government has already waived tax and cess on agricultural land to help farmers in distress.
  • Recently, the Odisha government also approved financial aid to farmers through ‘Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation’ (KALIA) scheme.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- Indian Express

  1. B V R Mohan Reddy committee on Technical Education submitted a report to AICTE
  • A government committee on Technical Education submitted its report to All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which is headed by BVR Mohan Reddy.

Recommendation of the Committee

  • The committee has advised the AICTE not to permit the establishment of new colleges from 2020.
  • It has recommended AICTE to review the creation of new capacity every two years.
  • It recommends that institutes should be encouraged to convert current capacity in traditional disciplines to emerging new technologies.
  • The committee has urged the AICTE to introduce undergraduate engineering programmes exclusively for following disciplines.
  1. Artificial intelligence
  2. Blockchain
  3. Robotics
  4. Quantum computing
  5. Data sciences

AICTE

  • It is a national level Apex Advisory Body to conduct a survey on the facilities available for technical education.
  • It has been given a statutory status by an Act of Parliament in 1987.
  • It promotes the development of technical education in India in a coordinated and integrated manner.
  • It grants approval for starting new technical institutions, for the introduction of new courses and for variation in intake capacity in technical institutions.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Important Committee

Source- The Hindu

  1. Madhya Pradesh to get ‘spiritual department’
  • The Madhya Pradesh Government is going to create an Adhyatmik Vibhag (spiritual department) by merging several existing departments.
  • The proposed Adhyatmik Vibhag (Spiritual Department) going to be formed by merging Dharmik Nyas Evam Dharmasv Department (Religious Trust and Endowment Department), Anand Vibhag (Happiness Department) in addition to the Directorate of Religious Trust and Endowment, Madhya Pradesh Teerth Evam Mela Pradhikaran and Rajya Anand Sansthan.
  • The ‘Anand Vibhag’ (Department of Happiness) set up by the government, a first in the country would be incorporated into this new department.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- The Hindu Business line

    9. India records 377 mine deaths in three years (2015-2017)

  • Coal mines have accounted for the highest number of casualties due to accidents in mines. Of the 377, more than half, 210, were killed in coal mines.
  • These figures were provided by the Labour and Employment Ministry.
  • Jharkhand, which recorded 69 deaths in the three years, has accounted for the highest death of coal mine workers in accidents inside mines.
  • Goda in Jharkhand witnessed one of the biggest open cast mine accidents in 2016 when 23 workers died in December that year.

Topic-GS-2- Social Issues

Source- The Hindu

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