- Mahanadi row must be ended politically, not legally
- The Mahanadi, which is the most important river for Odisha, is an interstate river. The total catchment area of the Mahanadi basin is 141,600 square kilometers, of which 54% is in Chhattisgarh, 46% in Odisha. In the monsoon, the Mahanadi’s discharge is almost the same as that of the Ganges. In the dry season, however, the river becomes a narrow channel. Before the construction of the Hirakud Dam in 1953, the river used to be called the ‘sorrow of Odisha’ for causing massive floods.
- The average inflow of the Mahanadi into the Hirakud Dam is 40,773 MCM (million cubic metre). Of this, 35,308 MCM comes from Chhattisgarh, which claims that it is currently using only 9,000 MCM of that water and that for its own economic and industrial needs, it has the right to use more water from the Mahanadi basin. On the other hand, Odisha argues that Chhattisgarh has already constructed three barrages unilaterally, which have affected the water flow to the Hirakud Dam in the dry season.
- The Chhattisgarh government has accused Odisha of letting ‘too much’ of the Mahanadi’s water flow into the Bay of Bengal and not harnessing it well enough.
- The argument that river water flowing into the sea is wasted is a very primitive idea. A river system needs to discharge a certain amount of water into the sea to maintain the ecology of the river and the delta. The regular water flow to the sea stops the intrusion of salt water into the river system and supports fishing communities
- Nepal to hold BIMSTEC 2018
- Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli announced to host the 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit.
- During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nepali Prime Minister said Nepal will hold the BIMSTEC summit, while expressing commitment towards building the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal initiative.
· WHO Launches ‘REPLACE’ To Eliminate Trans Fat in Foods By 2023
- The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a comprehensive plan to eliminate industrially-produced artificial trans fats from the global food supply by 2023.
- WHO calls on governments to use the ‘REPLACE’ action package to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the food supply.
- Elimination of trans fats is key to protecting the health and saving lives.
- The global health body estimates that every year, trans fat intake leads to over 5,00,000 deaths worldwide from cardiovascular diseases.
· North Korea pledges to dismantle its nuclear site between 23 to 25 May
- The decision was taken by North Korea citing to dismantle the nuclear site has been welcomed by everyone.
- But the decision to dismantle it was not taken underway and shutting down every speculation, North Korean foreign ministry announced that the country will begin dismantling its nuclear test site between May 23rd and 25th.
- The site is located in a northeastern part of the country. Ministry officials say the complete tunnel complex used for nuclear testing will be destroyed.
- This will be followed by the removal of all observation facilities and closing off of the whole area.
- The dismantling of the nuclear site will be conducted through a ceremony which will involve the collapsing of all tunnels using explosives and the removal of all observation facilities, research buildings, and security posts.
· High-Level Committee Approves Central Assistance Of Rs1,161 Crores To 4 States And A UT
- The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of the High Level Committee (HLC)in New Delhi for Central Assistance to the States/ UT of Assam (affected by floods during 2017-18), Himachal Pradesh (affected by floods/ landslides during 2017-18), Sikkim (affected by floods/ landslides during 2017-18), Lakshadweep (affected by cyclone Occhi during 2017) and Rajasthan (affected by Kharif drought during 2017).
- The HLC approved assistance of Rs 480.87 crore in respect of the state of Assam.
- The HLC also approved assistance from NDRF amounting to Rs 84.60 crore for the state of Himachal Pradesh, Rs 67.40 crore for the state of Sikkim, Rs 2.16 crore for the UT of Lakshadweep and Rs 526.14 crore for the state of Rajasthan.
- The total assistance approved was Rs 1,161.17 crores.
· Nationwide ration portability soon
- On the lines of cellphone portability, ration card holders of any village, town or city in Telangana can obtain ration from any fair price shop (FPS) in India soon, due to the central government’s initiative to launch a pilot project.
Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana have been selected for the national-level pilot project, which will be funded by the government of India. The crucial aspect to achieve the nationwide ration portability is to ensure that Aadhaar cards of every eligible candidate are linked to ration cards.
- Telangana is one of the first states to have achieved state-wide portability in the public distribution system (PDS) as the state-level portability came into effect on April 1. This allows a ration card holder registered with a particular FPS to draw ration from any FPS in the state.
- After encouraging state governments to adopt technology and provide state-wide portability for ration card holders, the Narendra Modi-ledgovernment now is looking at countrywide portability. This will revolutionise the PDS and come as a boon to migrant workers.
· Atal Pension Yojana crosses 1cr subscribers in 3 yrs
- Atal Pension Yojana has added over 1 crore subscribers since its launch in May 2015, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) said.
- Atal Pension Yojana (APY) was launched in May 2015 and current number of subscriber stands at 1.10 crore, the PFRDA said in a release.
- Till date, the APY has collected Rs 3,950 crore of contribution from subscribers. The scheme has generated around 9.10 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) since inception till March 2018.
- A guaranteed pension scheme for citizens of India announced by the government on May 9, 2015, APY is focused on the unorganised sector workers which constitute more than 85 per cent of the workforce.
- Under this scheme, the guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month or Rs 2,000-5,000 per month will be given at the age of 60 years depending on the contributions by subscribers.
- On completion of three years of the scheme, the PFRDA in coordination with ‘Department of Financial Services organised a massive outreach campaign ‘APY Formation Day’ across the country to enhance the enrolments in APY by banks and Department of Posts.
· 111km Jiribam-imphal rail link to help open economy, boost tourism
- With the world’s tallest railway bridge on a concrete pier and passing through several tunnels, including India’s second longest, the Jiribam-imphal railway line in Manipur is hurtling towards completion and will reduce travel time between Manipur and Assam by six hours.
- But most importantly, the line will connect city Imphal with the country’s railway network and boost Manipur’s economy and open it up for tourists.
- To achieve this, Indian Railways had to choose one of the most difficult terrains to construct the 111km railway line.
- Railways officials said 60% of the work has been completed and the line is expected to start functioning by mid 2020.
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