- Centre okays setting up of tribunal for settling mahanadi water dispute
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for adjudication of dispute on Mahanadi River waters.
- The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilization of water resources in each State and the potential for future development.
- It is expected that with adjudication of dispute by the Tribunal, the long-pending dispute between States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river will come to a final settlement, it informed.
- As per provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and two other Members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court. Further, services of two Assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues will be provided to advise the Tribunal in its proceedings.
- As per provisions of the ISRWD Act, 1956 the Tribunal is required to submit its report and decision within a period of 3 years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding 2 years due to unavoidable reasons.
- Notably, the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in January last year had also constituted a ‘Negotiations Committee’ earler to assess availability and utilisation of waters of Mahanadi and its tributaries, .
- The Committee as per the Central Government was to examine existing water sharing agreements on river Mahanadi and to consider claims of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand regarding availability and utilisation of waters of these rivers.
- The Committee was set up with reference to complaint of State of Odisha under section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 regarding utilisation of waters of Mahandi Basin.
- Notably, It may also be recalled that the Central Water Commission (CWC) under Union Ministry of Water Resources in August 2016 had informed that it has two major projects in Chhattisgarh portion of Mahanadi basin at appraisal stage with it; out of which one project –Arpa Bhaisajhar Project is a ‘Barrage Project’, the Central government had informed.
- Notably, the CWC’s River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation carries out techno-economic appraisal of major and medium irrigation projects (Command Area more than 2000 hectares) which are planned on Inter-State river / river basins, it had informed.
- Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Arpa Bhaisajhar Project was sent by Government of Chhattisgarh to Government of Odisha vide letter dated July 28, 2015, it informed.
- The Government of Odisha sent its views to Government of Chhattisgarh vide their letter dated April 26, 2016. The DPR of Arpa Bhaisajhar Project is under appraisal in CWC, it had stated in 2015.
- An Inter-State Meeting was held on July 29 , 2016 under the Chairmanship of Officer on Special Duty, Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to consider the various water resources issues/projects in Mahanadi Basin, it had informed.
· International Mother Language Day is observed on 21 February
- UNESCO celebrated International Mother Language Day on 21 February.
- The 2018 theme is- “Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development”.
- It has been organized for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education.
· Google Launches Google Pay to Take On Apple Pay
- Google combined its two payment services, Google Wallet and Android Pay, into a new app called Google Pay.
- The platform includes features like the ability to pay at checkout counters with a smartphone or pay for public transportation.
· India International Textiles Expo Begins In Colombo
- A three –day India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo)of India began in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.
- It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL)with the support of Union Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
- The event was inaugurated by Sri Lankan minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama. At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India displayed a variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc. suitable for apparel, industrial, technical application and general consumers.
· India Successfully Conducts Night Trial Of Prithvi-II Missile
- India successfully conducted a night trial of its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missilewith a strike range of 350 km, from a test range in Odisha.
- The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha.
- The perfect test launch came after the successful trial of the Agni-5 missile.
- EPFO cuts interest rate to 8.55% for 2017-18
- Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has reduced interest rate on deposits to 8.55% for 2017-18 following a general decline in interest rates.
- The decision was taken by EPFO’s central board of trustees at its 220th board meeting, labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said.
- EPFO had announced an interest rate of 8.65% for 2016-17 and 8.8% in 2015-16.
Gk bit – EPFO
- Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF)is a retirement benefit scheme that’s available to all salaried employees. This fund is maintained and overseen by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation of India (EPFO) and any company with over 20 employees is required by law to register with the EPFO.
- It’s a savings platform that helps employees save a fraction of their salary every month that can be used in the event that person is rendered unable to work, or upon retirement.
- When a person start working, him and his employer both contribute 12% of basic salary (plus dearness allowances, if any) into his EPF account. The entire 12% of your contribution goes into EPF account along with 3.67% (out of 12%) from the employer, while the balance 8.33% from the employer’s side is diverted to the EPS (Employee’s Pension Scheme) . It’s important to note that if basic pay is above Rs. 6,500 per month, then employer can only contribute 8.33% of 6,500 (i.e. Rs. 541) to EPS and the balance goes into EPF account.
- These funds are pooled together from many employees and invested by a trust. This generates an interest of 8% – 12%, which is decided by the government and the central board of trustees. The annual interest rate is available on the official EPF India website, and is currently at 8.55%.
· Avani, first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo
- Scripting history, Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi has become the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo.
- Three women pilots — Ms. Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh — had undergone strenuous training programme to fly fighter jets.
- They were commissioned as Flying Officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women.
· Over 40 Indian languages, dialects heading to extinction
- More than 40 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered and are believed to be heading towards extinction as only a few thousand people speak them, officials said.
- According to a report of the Census Directorate, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in the country, which are spoken by a large number of people — one lakh or more.
- However, there are 42 languages which are spoken by less than 10,000 people. These are considered endangered and may be heading towards extinction, a Home Ministry official said. A list prepared by UNESCO has also mentioned about the 42 languages or dialects in India that are endangered and they may be heading towards extinction, the official said. The languages or dialects which are considered endangered, include 11 from Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang), seven from Manipur (Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao) and four from Himachal Pradesh (Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi).
- The other languages in the endangered category are Manda, Parji and Pengo (Odisha), Koraga and Kuruba (Karnataka), Gadaba and Naiki (AP), Kota and Toda (Tamil Nadu), Mra and Na (Arunachal Pradesh), Tai Nora and Tai Rong (Assam), Bangani (Uttarakhand), Birhor (Jharkhand), Nihali (Maharashtra), Ruga (Meghalaya) and Toto (West Bengal).
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