Monday, November 17, 2014

11th to 14th November Newspaper Notes - Krishna River Award Review demanded by Telangana, New Aviation Draft Policy, LPG Subsidy to be on per kg basis, Punjab E Stamping Facility, Bio Capsule Fertiliser, Vocational Training in India

1. Telangana has filed a fresh case before Supreme Court to reconsider the Krishna River disputes award –

What is Krishna Water disputes tribunal ?

It was set up by the Union Government in 1969 in accordance with the provision of Inter State Water Disputes Act of 1956 in order to resolve the question of how much water of Krishna river would be allocated to the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

The tribunal was headed by former Supreme Court judge R.S. Bachawat. The judgement said that on basis of 75% dependability the water of Krishna river available for distribution was around TMC 2060.

Maharashtra got 560 TMC
Karnataka got 700 TMC
Andhra Pradesh got 800 TMC

Because Andhra Pradesh has now been divided in 2 states, the new state Telangana is pleading for a fresh look into the Krishna river dispute award as its thinks that the view points of the newly formed state and its interest need to be given a fresh reconsideration. States of Karnataka and Maharashtra are opposing the reconsideration of the Krishna award.

2. New draft aviation policy announced by Union Govt. not up to the mark and faces criticism from many quarters - It is being said the policy is not more than statement of intents. Important and specific action that need to be taken on specific issues and other areas have not been mentioned in the policy.

These areas are -

ATF ( Aviation turbine fuel) taxes

MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) taxes 

Nothing being talked about EASF (Essential Air Services Fund). EASF was proposed by the Naresh Chandra Committee in 2003. It said that those routes in which the flights are making losses will be financed separately by the Government.

No time limits have been imposed upon Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for providing clearances on various pending issues.

No time limit fixed for listing of Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Pawan Hans.

 Corporatisation of (ANS) Air Navigation Services is still not done.

However from many quarters praise for this new draft policy has also been heard saying that at least a  start in a positive direction has been made.

Important Fact -  Some facts about the open-mindedness of our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru –

(a) Nehru had admired the achievements of the Soviet Union and also had a liking for the 1949 Chinese Revolution.

(b) The U.S. looking at this thought that may be communism is establishing a strong grip over Asia, so in order to counter this ideology from creeping into India (which the U.S. thought was creeping but in real it was not true), the U.S. sent Paul Hoffman to India in 1951. Paul Hoffman was the President of the Ford Foundation and was also a former administrator of the Marshall Plan. Mr. Nehru himself invited Mr. Hoffman to visit India.

(c) Mr. Nehru asked about ideas for restructuring the functional machineries of the Government from Paul Appleby, who in his turn recommended the establishment of an elite dedicated institution to train Indian officers in the science and art of policy formulation and policy making. Giving heed to this recommendation Indian Institution of Public Administration was established in 1954 and Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru was its founding President.

3. Union Govt. has announced a subsidy of Rs 20/kg for Liquified Petroleum Gas. – This move to fix subsidy on basis of per Kg of gas consumed is intended to benefit the poor consumers who can not afford the 14.2 Kg gas cylinders.

Table to understand pricing mechanism for 5 kg cylinder and 14.2 kg cylinder in India Rupees – 

Market price 285.20 809.79
Subsidised Price 146.80 416.912
Subsidy by Budget 100 284
Extra Cost to be taken by oil companies 38.40 109.05

As per the table we see that in case of 5 Kg cylinder the extra cost to be undertaken by oil company comes out to be Rs 38.40 per 5 Kg cylinder and the corresponding figures for 14.2 Kg cylinder comes out to be Rs 109.05

If any future rise occurs in oil markets then the Government can take either of the following 2 steps -

(a) Oil companies will bear the further burden.

(b) Increasing the market price thereby passing on the burden of price rise to consumers.

4. Mohali, Amritsar, Jalanthar, Ludhiana and one more district in Punjab is going to get e-stamping facility. This facility would stop the sale and purchase of physical stamp papers and would thus stop the illegal evasion of revenue collection thereby leading to greater transparency. By the end of this fiscal year this facility would be extended to all 22 districts of the State. This project has been launched in association with Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd.

5. Punjab State seeks China’s help to improve its fish production Even though Punjab is a land locked state and going by the statistics it is still not in the top ranks of fish production but Punjab’s administration says that the state has huge potential for fish production. Punjab state is forging an alliance with China’s Jiangsu province known as “Twin Province” project in order to increase the fish output.

6. A new type of bio capsule (full of nutrients) which is stated to be an excellent alternative of all bio fertilizers is set to hit the market soon. The capsule is developed at Indian Institute of Spices Research Kozhikode.

Note: What are Bio fertilizers? 

Bio fertilizers is that material which is comprised of living and active micro-organisms which when applied to or is mixed with soil, seed or plant surfaces improves the interior of the plant and help in its growth by facilitating the supply of primary nutrients to the plant. Bio fertilizers are also very effective alternatives of insecticides and pesticides.

Some beneficial properties of this bio capsule - 

(a) The encapsulation process of this bio capsule is economical and simple.
(b) It can be easily handled and transported.
(c) It can be stored at normal temperatures.
(d) Its shell life lies in the range of 18 to 24 months.
(e) No harmful by products are produced by it.
(f) Requirement of inert and inorganic material is very less when compared to other biofertilizers.
(g) It is required in low quantity for eg. For per hectare of ginger crop 20 Kg of bio fertilizer is required where as only 200 gm of bio capsule is required. 

Process of use of this bio capsule –

First the bio capsules are properly mixed with water and then in this water, the material to be planted is kept for 30 minutes before actually sowing it. The technology has been tested but it would take it some time to reach in commercial markets.

7. Important Note – While inhaling air it is comprised of –
Nitrogen- 79%, Carbon dioxide- 0.04%, Oxygen-21%

While exhaling the air is comprised of – 
Oxygen- 16%, Nitrogen- 79%, Carbon dioxide- 4%

8. Some facts regarding vocational education in India – 

Question - What is Vocational Education/Training?

Vocational Education is a sort of preliminary education or training that prepares an individual for specific job and assignments be it technical, trade, engineering, pharmacy, architecture or any other field.

1. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) formed in 2010 on a public private partnership basis has trained around 10,00,000 people.

2. Industrial training Institutes in India have grown from 2000 to 10000 in 2013 but private companies hirers are complaining that the skill set of hired workers is not appropriate. So in view of this review proper regulation of ITI’s becomes a necessity which itself is a very difficult task to under take.

9. French Parliament to conduct a non binding vote on 28th November to confer on Palestine the status of statehood.

10. Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC) study says that proportion of stunted and wasted children in India has reduced significantly 

Ques. What are stunted and wasted children?

Stunting refers to retarded physical growth along with reduced capacity of brain and inefficient cognitive development. Wasted children refer to those children who are under the age of 5 years and have low weight for height. The Women and Child Development Ministry in association with UNICEF has conducted this study (RCOS) and the findings are as below –

1. In the period 2005-06 to 2013-14 the proportion of stunted children under the age of 5 years have decreased from 48% to 39%. This means that approximately 14.5 million children have been taken out of the category of stunted children. 
2. In the same time period wasted children have declined from 20% to 15%.
3. The number of breastfed infants have shot up from 46% to 72%.{which is a good progress}

11. India has been ranked 71st in The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15 which has been released by the World Economic Forum. Total 144 countries were assessed and the ranking is done keeping in mind 12 points. These points are – Infrastructure, Institution, Health and Education, technological readiness, labour market efficiency, innovation, business sophistication.

In 2013-14 report India was ranked at 60th position. In the BRICS nations India currently is at the bottom. 

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