20, June 2017

  1. Environmental Impact Survey

Source: The Hindu

India has been placed at a lowly 75th rank in the environmental impact survey.

About the survey:

The study by UK-based MoneySuperMarket highlights the individual contribution to the world’s climate while also highlighting areas for improvement for each country. The rankings were based on different measurements that make up the average individual human impact in each country, including energy consumption, air pollution, waste production and reliance on non-renewable energy.

Performance of other countries:

  • Mozambique, the southern African country rated as one of the poorest, has topped. Mozambique topped the list because almost all its energy use comes from green sources.
  • Four other African countries – Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya and Ghana – in the top seven for lowest environmental impact.
  • Africa as a continent topped the charts and featured strongly in its use of green energy, low CO2 emissions and low levels of air pollution and waste production.
  • Worst country for environmental impact: Trinidad and Tobago topped this list as the CO2 emissions, in the country, are at an average of 37.1 tonnes per person.

  1. CIC says BCCI should come under the RTI Act

Source: The Hindu

In its latest order, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has urged the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to bring the organisation under the RTI Act. Previously, the CIC had elaborately explained the need for making BCCI a public authority.

Why should BCCI come under the purview of RTI?

  • BCCI is a National Sports Federation for cricket, which received thousands of crores towards tax concessions. The government had declared all the National Sports Federations (NSF)s receiving a grant of Rs. 10 lakh or more as a Public Authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI, 2005. Thus, it has to come under the RTI in order to remain accountable to the public.

RTI Act:

  • Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. It replaces the erstwhile Freedom of information Act, 2002.
  • Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen may request information from a “public authority” (a body of Government or “instrumentality of State”) which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days.
  • The Act also requires every public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally.
  • The Act covers the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir, where J&K Right to Information Act is in force.
  • Private bodies are not within the Act’s ambit directly. In a decision of Sarbajit Roy versus Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Central Information Commission affirmed that privatised public utility companies continue to be within the RTI Act.

 CIC:

  • The Central Information Commission (CIC) is set up under the Right to Information Act and is the authorised body, established in 2005, under the Government of India.
  • The Chief Information Commissioner heads the Central Information Commission. CIC hears appeals from information-seekers who have not been satisfied by the public authority, and also addresses major issues concerning the RTI Act.

The Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:

  • The Prime Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the committee.
  • The Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
  • A Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

  1. Final raising of Sardar Sarovar Dam cleared by Narmada Control Authority

Source: The Hindu

Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has cleared the final raising of Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) in Gujarat by lowering of gates and impounding of water in the reservoir upto its Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of EL 138.68 mts.

Implications of this move:

  • With lowering of gates of SSD, the live storage capacity would increase from 1565 to 5740 MCM i.e. by 4175 MCM (267%).
  • The clean (hydro-power generation) would increase by present 1300 MW to 1450 MW with increase in annual generation by about 1100 Million Units (i.e. about Rs.400/- crore per annum).
  • In addition, this additional storage would irrigate about 8 lakh hectares. Additionally, about one crore population would get assured drinking water.
  • As it is well known, the Sardar Sarovar Project would primarily meet the water requirement of drought prone and desert areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Narmada Control Authority:

  • The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has been setup under the final orders and decision of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) as a machinery for implementation of its directions and decision. The authority started functioning from 20th December, 1980.
  • The authority is a body corporate with representatives of the four States of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and representatives of Govt. Of India.
  • The authority is funded in equal proportions by all the four states. Secretary (Water Resources), Govt. of India is the ex-officio Chairman of the Authority, whereas the routine administration is the responsibility of Executive Member of the Authority. NCA presently has six subgroups. The Narmada Control Authority has its headquarters at Indore.

  1. National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India

Source: PIB

The implementation of the ‘‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India’ was recently launched at Goverdhan Block, Mathura District, Uttar Pradesh. This Mission is part of the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ umbrella.

Ministry of Culture launched it in the year of commemoration of the birth centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay, who hailed from Mathura.

National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India

  • The mission aims at converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map, designing a mechanism to fulfil the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation and preserving the rich cultural heritage of this country in the form of a cultural repository of artists and art forms.
  • This Mission encompasses data mapping, demography building formalising the processes and bringing all the cultural activities under one web based umbrella for better results.
  • The Mission also seeks to open a direct channel of communication of artists with the Government and peer to peer communication among artists for talent honing and handholding of each other.

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat:

  • “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Subsequently, the Finance Minister announced the initiative in his Budget Speech for 2016-17.
  • Through this innovative measure, the knowledge of the culture, traditions and practices of different States & UTs will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between the States, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.
  • All States and UTs will be covered under the programme. There will be pairing of States/UTs at national level and these pairings will be in effect for one year, or till the next round of pairings. The State/UT level pairings would be utilized for state level activities. District level pairings would be independent of the State level pairings.
  • The activity will be very useful to link various States and Districts in annual programmes that will connect people through exchanges in areas of culture, tourism, language, education trade etc. and citizens will be able to experience the cultural diversity of a much larger number of States/UTs while realising that India is one.

Objectives of the initiative

  • To CELEBRATE the Unity in Diversity of our Nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of our Country;
  • To PROMOTE the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories through a year-long planned engagement between States;
  • To SHOWCASE the rich heritage and culture, customs and traditions of either State for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity that is India, thus fostering a sense of common identity;
  • TO ESTABLISH long-term engagements and
  • TO CREATE an environment which promotes learning between States by sharing best practices and experiences.



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