Current Affairs January 2, 2010
‘Chic Sikh’ 2009:
Online magazine sikhchic.com has honored PM Manmohan Singh, Delhi lawyer Harvinder Singh Phoolka & former bureaucrat Saran Singh of “The Sikh Review” as Chic Sikh of 2009.
Where are Hanguls?
Kashmir stag (Cervus elaphus hanglu), also called hangul is the State Animal of Jammu & Kashmir. These deer once numbered from about 5,000 animals in the beginning of the 20th century. Right now there are 117-119 hanguls in 2006. Millions of rupees have been spent on a Project Hangul which was prepared by state of Jammu & Kashmir, along with the IUCN and the WWF for the protection of these animals. The project said to bring the population increased from 180-250 to over 340 by 1980. However due to habitat degradation/reduction, loss of foraging grounds, predation/competition, poaching , population of Kashmir Stag (Hangul) in Kashmir has declined from 180-250 individuals in 1965 to 117-119 in 2006.
Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme – ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, a new component has been added for initiating ‘Recovery Programme for critically endangered species and their habitats’. During the last financial year (2008-09), an amount of Rs.99.00 lakhs has been released to the State of Jammu & Kashmir under this component for conservation of Hangul.
Similarly, during the current financial year (2009-10), an mount of Rs. 33.96 lakhs has been released to the State of Manipur for conservation of Brow Antlered deer.
Reintroduction of Lions:
The Wildlife Institute of India had conducted a feasibility study for an alternate home for the Asiatic lion during 1993 at three potential sites, viz, Darrah-Jawahar Sagar (Rajasthan), Sitamata (Rajasthan) & Kuno Palpur (Madhya Pradesh). The study had identified Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary with an area of 344.686 Sq.Kms. as the best potential site for reintroduction of lions. Accordingly, in order to improve the habitat before the re-introduction of lions, various management interventions have been taken up in the Sanctuary, that included relocation of villages from the Sanctuary, strengthening protection, habitat improvement, etc.
Planned Breeding for Conservation:
The Central Zoo Authority has initiated a programme for planned coordinated conservation breeding of critically endangered wild animal species in Indian Zoos. 70 such species have been identified under the programme.
Note: Number of recognized zoos in the country is 196.
Updates From States:
Haryana : COEs for Fruits & vegetables
Indian government has approved an Indo-Israel project for setting up centres of excellence for fruits and vegetables in Haryana. The total cost of the project will be Rs 15.70 crore.
Sirsa has been selected for Fruits and Karnal for vegetables COEs.
Himachal Pradesh : Anaemia Free Himachal Pradesh Scheme
The Anaemia Free Himachal scheme was started in Kangra and Hamirpur districts on October two, 2008 and now it would be implemented in the entire state. This decision has been taken in the review meeting of the Ayrveda department.
Business & Economy:
1.5 lakh Points of Sale (POS) by State Bank of India
State Bank of India is planning to place about 150,000 point of sale (PoS) terminals for debit and credit card payments across the country in the next 2010-11. State Bank Group presently has over 18,000 ATMs across the country and has issued over 60 million debit cards.
India & World:
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan & World Bank
The ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which was pioneered by Atal Bihari Vajpayee is , now a Flagship Scheme of UPA Government which aims to acheive universalization of elementary education in a time bound manner, as mandated by the 86th amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to children of ages 6-14 (estimated to be 205 million in number in 2001) a fundamental right.
This scheme has shown encouraging results and recently World Bank has come forward with an offer to provide additional funding of $ 500 million (Rs 2,325 cr approx) for the programme. The World Bank Proposal is to provide the Indian Government money as soft loans to be paid over a period of 35 to 40 years with lesser interest.
The World Bank had earlier provided soft loan of $ 600 million (Rs 2,790 cr approx) for the scheme which aims at universalisation of elementary education. As per the reports , 99 per cent of the habitations in the country have got a primary school and 270,000 schools have already been operationalised under sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
Indians in PSA Rankings
Saurav Ghosal is India’s no. 1 squash player and is on noumber 29 in the latest PSA rankings with 1860.00 points.
Veteran Ritwik Bhattacharya = 113.
Siddharth Suchde = 101
Harinder Pal Sandhu = 102
Article: K M Music Conservatory of A R Rahman