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Daily Current Affairs : 26-Dec-2019

Major Topics Covered :

  1. ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE INDEX’ LAUNCHED BY MOS (PP) DR JITENDRA SINGH ON ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE DAY’

  2. PRIME MINISTER RELEASES OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF JAL JEEVAN MISSION (JJM)

  3. DESERT LOCUST

  4. MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA

  5. INTERSEX CHILDREN

  6. SUICIDE

  7. SAPTAMATRIKAS

  8. SWADESH DARSHAN SCHEME

  9. ALL VILLAGES TO HAVE FREE WIFI SERVICES BY MARCH 2020: GOVT

  10. CANCER


‘GOOD GOVERNANCE INDEX’ LAUNCHED BY MOS (PP) DR JITENDRA SINGH ON ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE DAY’

Part of GS- 2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

Good Governance Index has been scientifically designed on various parameters of governance: Dr Jitendra Singh 15th edition of Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (CSMOP) released Handbook for Retiring Central Government Employees and Smart Card facility for Department Canteen of DoPT launched


Highlights:

  • The MoS (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh launched the ‘Good Governance Index’ at an event organized by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, on the occasion of Good Governance Day, here today.

  • The Good Governance Day (25 Dec) is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

  • Addressing on the occasion, Secretary, DoPT & DARPG, Dr. C. Chandramouli said that these measures reflect that the Ministry is equipping the employees to understand how to use digital platforms in functioning. He added that Government is also committed to the welfare of its ex-employees and it is taken care by the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare.

  • The Good Governance Index is a uniform tool across States to assess the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs. The objectives of GGI are to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs, enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration.

  • Various principles have been kept in mind while selecting the indicators, i.e. it should be easy to understand & calculate, citizen-centric & result driven, leading to improved results and applicable to all states and UTs, among others. Various consultation meetings were held with the stakeholders, including consultations with sector experts, ministries, states & UTs.

  • These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators.

  • The states and UTs are divided into three groups: a). Big States, b). North-East & Hill States and c). UTs.

  • The states and UTs are ranked on all indicators separately, at the same time composite ranking is also calculated for these states and UTs under their respective groups based upon these indicators.


The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors:

1). Agriculture and Allied Sectors,

2). Commerce & Industries,

3). Human Resource Development,

4). Public Health,

5). Public Infrastructure & Utilities,

6). Economic Governance,

7). Social Welfare & Development,

8). Judicial & Public Security,

9). Environment and

10). Citizen-Centric Governance.


Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (CSMOP):


The 1st CSMOP was published in 1955 and has been updated from time to time. The last edition (14th edition) was published in 2015.


To meet the requirements of digital environment, DARPG has brought out 15th edition of CSMOP which integrates conventional office practices with e-office.


The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has brought out a Handbook for Retiring Central Government Employee, including All India Service Officers, to make them, as well as their families, aware of their entitlements and various procedural formalities with respect to their retirement benefits.


The Department has brought out a compendium on pension related orders issued during 2018-19 which contains important orders which inter-alia include:-


Amendment of Rule 38 of CCS (Pension) Rule to grant Invalid Pension to even those Government Employees who retire on medical ground with a qualifying service of less than 10 years, Revision of pension of pre-2006 pensioners who retired in 5th CPC scale of Rs.6500-10500, w.r.t. higher grade pay of Rs.4600/- (instead of Rs.4200/-) as applicable to serving employees, Grant of two family pensions to reemployed pensioners for two different spells of service – one under CCS (Pension) Rules and the other under EOP Rules.


Source: PIB


PRIME MINISTER RELEASES OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF JAL JEEVAN MISSION (JJM)

Part of GS- Water


Why in news?

The Prime Minister released the Operational Guidelines of JJM in a function organised at Vigyan Bhawan, which is observed as Good Governance, here day. The Operational Guidelines will help various functionaries involved in the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.


Highlights:


The event was also graced by the Minister of Defense, the Minister Jal Shakti, the Minister of State Jal Shakti. Officials from various departments, farmers from different states, representatives of UN agencies, NGOs/ trusts, and various stakeholders working in the water sector attended the function.


The Union Cabinet on 13.08.2019 approved Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024.

As per the information available, out of 17.87 Crore rural households in the country, about 14.6 Crore which accounts for 81.67% are yet to have household water tap connections. The total project cost is estimated to be about Rs 3.60 lakh Crore.


Central share will be Rs.2.08 lakh Crore. The fund sharing pattern to be 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States; 50:50 for other States and 100% for UTs.

Broad contours of the JJM was circulated to all the States/ UTs giving details of the Mission and expected actions from States/ UTs. A National Level State Ministers’ conference chaired by Hon’ble Minister of Jal Shakti was held on 26/8/2019, wherein modalities of implementation of JJM were discussed at length.


Consultations were also held on implementation aspects of the Mission with other Ministries of Government of India.


Considering above aspects, Operational Guidelines of Jal Jeevan Mission has been finalized.


The Operational Guidelines was also put up on the portal of Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation for feedback/ comments from citizens.


The salient features of the guidelines are as follows:

  1. Time bound completion of schemes taken up under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) has been proposed by providing FHTC to every rural household. No extension of time or cost escalation will be allowed except for the cost towards retrofitting the same to provide FHTCs.

  2. II. Priority to cover water quality affected habitations under JJM will be given.

  3. III. For the implementation of JJM, following institutional arrangement has been proposed: (a.) National Jal Jeevan Mission at the Central level; (b.) State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) at State level; (c.) District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) at district level; and (d.) Gram Panchayat and/ or its sub-committees i.e. Village Water Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Paani Samiti at village Level.

  4. IV. Extra budgetary resources will be made available for JJM and is proposed to be allocated along with Gross Budgetary Support among States/ UTs as per the allocation criteria.

  5. V. Good performance of the States/ UTs will be incentivized out of the fund not utilized by other States at the fag end of the financial year.

  6. VI. The fund released by Central Government to the State Governments is to be deposited in one Single Nodal Account (SNA) that will be maintained by SWSM along with State matching share to be transferred within 15 days of Central release. Public Finance Management System (PFMS) should be used for tracking the funds.

  7. VII. The physical and financial progress of the mission is proposed to be monitored through IMIS and fund utilization through PFMS.

  8. VIII. No expenditure towards centage charges, O&M cost of the schemes like electricity charges, salary of regular staff and purchase of land, etc. will be allowed out of Central share.

  9. IX. Imbibing the spirit of 73rd Amendment of Constitution of India, Gram Panchayats or its sub-committees will play a crucial role in planning, designing, execution, operations and maintenance of the in-village infrastructure.

  10. X. To bring in sense of ownership and pride among rural communities, 5% capital cost contribution towards in-village water supply infrastructure in hilly, forested, and more than 50% SC/ ST dominant population villages, and 10% in the remaining villages is proposed.

  11. XI. Communities to be rewarded by providing 10% of the in-village infrastructure cost of the scheme which will be maintained by them as a revolving fund to meet any unforeseen expenditure due to break down, etc.

  12. XII. To handhold and facilitate the implementation of in-village infrastructure and community participation process, Gram Panchayat and/ or its sub-committee, Implementation Support Agencies (ISAs), viz. Self-Help Groups (SHGs)/ CBOs/ NGOs/ VOs, etc. is proposed to be identified and empanelled by state government and engaged by SWSM/ DWSM as per the requirement.

  13. XIII. In order to ensure faster implementation with ‘speed and scale’ in a time-bound manner for providing FHTC in every rural household by 2024, it is proposed to forge partnership with all stakeholders in water sector namely; voluntary organizations, sector partners, professionals in water sector, foundations and CSR arms of various corporates.

  14. XIV. JJM aims at providing potable water in adequate quantity i.e. 55 litre per capita per day (lpcd) of prescribed quality i.e. BIS Standard of IS: 10500 on regular basis. Assured availability of safe drinking water in the household premises will improve the health and thereby socio-economic condition of the rural population and will also bring down the drudgery of rural women, especially girls.

  15. XV. Every village is to prepare a village action plan (VAP) which will be essentially having three components namely; i.) water source & its maintenance ii.) water supply and iii.) grey water management. Village action plan will be aggregated at district level to formulate the District action plan which will be aggregated at State level to formulate the State action plan. State action plan will give a holistic view especially covering projects like regional grids, bulk water supply and distribution projects to address the needs of water stressed areas and will also have a plan for ensuring drinking water security in the State.

  16. XVI. SWSM will decide rate contracts and empanel reputed construction agencies/ vendors through centralized tendering and also to prepare design templates for expeditious implementation.

  17. XVII. Mandatory source sustainability measures like rain water harvesting, groundwater recharge and other water conservation measures as along with grey water management (including reuse) are proposed to be undertaken in convergence with MGNREGS and grants under Finance Commission, State Finance Commission, District Mineral Development Fund (DMF), etc. It has been proposed to assess and pool the fund available for drinking water supply from various sources be it, Government such as MPLADS, MLALADS, DMDF or donations whether at State level or village level be strictly utilized as per the approved plans. This helps in preventing creation of parallel water supply infrastructure deviating from the approved plan.

  18. XVIII. The guidelines also propose that States will have a definite O&M policy especially to meet with the O&M requirements like monthly energy cost of the PWS scheme, by ensuring cost recovery from user groups and thereby avoiding any unwanted burden on public exchequer.

  19. XIX. JJM envisages a structural change in the provision of drinking water supply services. The service provision should change to ‘utility based approach’ centered on ‘service delivery’. Such a reform is proposed in the guidelines so as to enable the institutions to function as utilities focusing on services and recover water tariff/ user fee.

  20. XX. Measuring water to ascertain the availability and the quality using sensors based IoT technologies is also proposed in the guidelines.

  21. XXI. Third party inspection is proposed to be undertaken before making any payment to instill accountability.

  22. XXII. Functionality assessment of the schemes implemented under JJM will be done by Department/ NJJM.

  23. XXIII. The guidelines also list support activities like HRD, IEC, Skill Development, etc. to be taken up under JJM.

  24. XXIV. Similarly, Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance is proposed to be an important component under JJM wherein setting up and maintenance of water quality testing labs by the PHE Department and surveillance activities by community will be taken up so as to ensure that the water supplied is of prescribed quality and thereby definition of functionality under JJM is adhered to. Source: PIB

DESERT LOCUST

Part of GS- Environment


Why in news?

Gujarat is under attack from hoppers — new-born locusts — that have flown in across the international border.


Highlights:

  • As the swarms mature, they have ravaged farms in north Gujarat, devastating farms in the three border districts — Banaskantha, Patan and Kutch.

  • The Desert Locust known as tiddis locally, is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acridoidea) that are known to change their behavior and form swarms of adults or bands of hoppers (wingless nymphs).

  • The swarms that form can be dense and highly mobile.

  • The Latin name for Desert Locust is Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal). The insects fly in during the day and settle on the farms at night, making it difficult to ward them off.

  • During quiet periods (known as recessions) Desert Locusts are usually restricted to the semi-arid and arid deserts of Africa, the Near East and South-West Asia that receive less than 200 mm of rain annually.

  • This is an area of about 16 million square kilometres, consisting of about 30 countries.

  • During plagues, Desert Locusts may spread over an enormous area of some 29 million square kilometres, extending over or into parts of 60 countries. Desert Locust plagues occurred in 1926-1934, 1940-1948, 1949-1963, 1967-1969 and 1986-1989.

  • The Agriculture Ministry’s Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) is located in Jodhpur.


Source : The Hindu


MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA

Part of GS-1 History


Why in news?

December 25 was the birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya, the famed Indian educationist and freedom fighter who is also called ‘Mahamana’.


Highlights:

  • Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (1861 – 1946) was an Indian educationist and a Freedom Fighter.

  • He was conferred the title of ‘Mahamana’ by Mahatma Gandhi.

  • During his school days he started writing poems under the pen name ‘Makarand’ which were published in journals and magazines.


Role in Freedom Movement:

  • He was a moderate leader.

  • He was elected as the president of Indian National Congress four times in 1909, 1918, 1932 and 1933, but owing to his arrest by the Government of India, he could not preside over the 1932 and 1933 sessions which had been banned.

  • As a member of Imperial Legislative Council (later renamed as Central Legislative Assembly), he participated in the important debates most notable being the prohibition of recruitment of Indian indentured labour to the British colonies.

  • He attended the Round Table Conference in 1931.

  • In protest against the Communal Award of 1932 which sought to provide separate electorates for minorities, Malaviya along with Madhav Shrihari Aney left the Congress and started the Congress Nationalist Party.

  • He founded the Hindu Mahasabha in 1906 to oppose not the just claims of the Muslim community but the "divide and rule" policy of the British Government.

  • He founded Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916, which was created under the B.H.U. Act, 1915.

  • He was Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1919–1938.

  • He started the 'Abhyudaya' as a Hindi weekly in 1907 and made it a daily in 1915.

  • He also started the 'Maryada' a Hindi monthly in 1910.

  • He started the 'Leader' an English daily in 1909.

  • He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the 'Hindustan Times' from 1924 to 1946.

  • Though, scouting in India was officially founded in British India in 1909, scouting for native Indians was started by him along with Annie Besant.

  • In 1913, he started a scouting inspired organisation called All India Seva Samiti.

  • Malviya founded Ganga Mahasabha to oppose the damming of Ganges. An agreement known as Aviral Ganga Raksha Samjhuata 1916 was signed between British government and Ganga Mahasabha for uninterrupted flow of Ganges in Haridwar

  • He took a keen interest in the industrial development of the country and was therefore appointed a member of the Indian Industrial Commission in 1916.

  • He was posthumously conferred with Bharat Ratna in 2014.

  • Mahamana Express, a train named after Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016.

  • The Train runs between Delhi and Varanasi.


Source : Indian Express


INTERSEX CHILDREN

Part of GS- Social Issues


Why in news?

Intersex individuals and rights organisations have sought a national ban on unnecessary medical surgeries conducted on children with intersex traits and appealed to the Union government to protect their human rights.


Highlights:

  • The demand for a nation-wide ban comes months after the Tamil Nadu government banned normative surgeries on infants and children except in life-threatening situations after a historic judgment of the Madras High Court on April 22, 2019.

  • While the term intersex is confused with transgender, the two infact have very different meanings.

  • Individuals who identify as transgender or transexual have a gender that is different from the one traditionally associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.

  • Intersex refers to people born with biological or physical characteristics that are more diverse than stereotypical male or female bodies.

  • If adopted nationally, India could become only the third country after Malta and Taiwan, to have a legal regime which protects the rights of intersex children.

  • The World Health Organisation and the United Nations Human Rights Council have called upon Member States to end invasive and irreversible medical surgeries and other medical treatment on intersex children.


Source : The Hindu


SUICIDE

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

A national strategy for suicide prevention is under discussion at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Highlights:

  • Once prepared, it is expected that it should remove confusion surrounding Section 309 of the IPC, according to which attempted suicide continues to be a criminal offence.

  • India continues to have the dubious distinction of recording the highest number, or 34% of all suicides in the world.

  • According to medical experts, after the Mental Healthcare Act (MCHA), 2017, the Section has become “redundant” but still remains in law books.

  • Section 309 of the IPC says that a suicide attempt is punishable with simple imprisonment, which may extend up to one year,

  • However, Section 115 of the MCHA, 2017 states that “any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code (Section 309 of IPC).”


Source : The Hindu


SAPTAMATRIKAS

Part of GS- Culture


Why in news?

The Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult.

It is also the earliest Sanskrit inscription to have been discovered in South India as on date.


Highlights:

  • Saptamatrikas are a group of seven female deities worshipped in Hinduism as personifying the energy of their respective consorts.

  • So far the Nagarjunakonda inscription of Ikshavaku king Ehavala Chantamula issued in his 11th regnal year corresponding to the 4th century A.D. was considered the earliest Sanskrit inscription in South India.

  • The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters and was issued by Satavahana king Vijaya in 207 A.D.

  • It was discovered in Chebrolu village in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.


Source : The Hindu


SWADESH DARSHAN SCHEME

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to release funds to the tune of Rs. 627.40 crore for the 10 projects sanctioned during 2018-19 and additional Rs. 1854.67 crore for sanctioning of new projects during 2019-20 in Swadesh Darshan Scheme.


Highllights:

  • Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Ministry of Tourism is developing critical tourism infrastructure in the country in a sustainable and inclusive manner to make India, a world class tourist destination.

  • The provision of this critical infrastructure will catalyse the private sector investment in revenue generating projects which in turn would lead to positive enhancement of overall experience to the tourist resulting into increased footfalls in the areas, growth of revenue and employment.

  • Pursuant to the Budget Announcements of 2014-15 the Ministry of Tourism launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme (Central Sector Scheme) in January, 2015.

  • Under the Scheme 15 circuits have been identified for development namely Himalayan Circuit, North East Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit and Sufi Circuit.

  • Objective: Developing critical tourism infrastructure to make India a world class tourist destination.

Source : Business Standard

ALL VILLAGES TO HAVE FREE WIFI SERVICES BY MARCH 2020: GOVT

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news?

Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that free WiFi services will be provided to all villages across the country through Bharatnet till March next year.


Highlights:

  • Inaugurating Digital Village Gurawara in Rewari in Haryana, Mr Prasad said, the Ministry has already connected one lakh 30 thousand gram panchayats through Bharatnet.

  • He said, the target is to take this to two lakh 50 thousand gram panchayats. Mr Prasad also said, the target of the government is to convert at least 15 per cent of villages to the digital village in the next four years.

  • The Minister said, the process of empowering villages is on track and day is not far off when rural India will take the lead in shaping the country's of dreams.


Source: AIR


CANCER

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

A research paper titled “History of Growing burden of Cancer in India: From Antiquity to 21st century” was recently published in the Journal of Global Oncology, which is promoted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.


Highlights:


Cancer is primarily a disease of older people, hence, as life expectancy went up, cancer incidences too went up.


The country's cancer burden will continue to increase as a result of the ongoing ageing of India and improving access to cancer diagnostics in rural India.


Epidemiological transition is a phase of development witnessed by a sudden increase in population growth rates due to improved food security and public health, followed by a re-leveling of population growth due to subsequent declines in fertility rates.


In India the fastest epidemiological transition happened in Kerala, whereas Uttar Pradesh remained in the slowest group.


The types of cancers in India are also undergoing a transition.


There has been a decline of cancers caused by infections and an increase in cancers associated with energy intake, physical activity imbalance and ageing, such as breast, colorectal and prostate cancers.


Approximately 40% of cancer costs are met through borrowing and contributions from friends and relatives.


Source : The Hindu


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