National Current Affairs
October 1st Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Union Government plans to produce power, compost from solid waste under Swachh Bharat Mission.

  • Union Urban Development Ministry has announced crucial policy changes to allow generation of electricity and compost from municipal solid waste.
  • It was announced by the Ministry on the occasion of first anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission which was launched on 2 October 2014.
  • The Ministry is also finalising the pricing model for the compost produced out of city trash which would be sold to farmers on subsidised rates.
  • Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers will forward proposal before Cabinet to provide Market Development Assistance on sale of city compost to farmers.
  • Union Ministry of Power is also in the process of amending the Electricity Act 2003 to enable mandatory purchase of power generated from municipal solid waste.
2) Union Government notifies mid-day meal rules under National Food Security Act,.
  • Union Government has notified Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Rules, 2015 under the Food Security Act, 2013.
  • The new rules have been finalised by Union Government after consultation with the States and other related Ministries of Union Government.
New Rules:
  • Temporary utilization of other funds available with the school for MDM in case school exhausts funds meant for meal for any reason.
  • Food security allowance will be paid to beneficiaries under the temporary fund utilization in case of non-supply of meal for specified reasons.
  • To check meal quality provided in the rules, it will be tested on randomly on monthly basis by accredited Labs.
  • If meals are not provided on 3 consecutive school days or five days in a month state government will fix responsibility on the person or agency to check it.
  • Every child between the age group of 6 to 14 years old studying in classes from I to VIII standard will be provided hot cooked meal having nutritional standards.
3) PM Modi inaugurates MUDRA mega credit camp.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Mudra scheme in Dumka under which people can take loans up to Rs. 10 lakh to start businesses. “The Mudra scheme is one step forward to accelerate development in the country.
  • Under this scheme, poor people have been exempted from guarantee to avail MUDRA scheme. As the a result of government policy, around 42 Lakh people have benefited from this scheme.
  • The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) Yojana was launched in April to help small entrepreneurs. In Jharkhand, around one lakh people have been given loans under the Mudra scheme.
  • The prime minister also launched the renovation of a series of Maluti temples in Dumka district of Jharkhand.
4) Government test shows 12.5% food items contain unapproved pesticides.
  • Union government has found residues of pesticides in vegetables, fruits, milk and other food items collected from various retail and wholesale outlets across the country.
  • It was unveiled by the report released by Union Agriculture Ministry it had analysed samples collected during 2014-15 from various retail and wholesale outlets.
Key facts
  1. These harmful residues of unapproved pesticides were found in 12.50 per cent of the 20,618 samples collected nationally as part of the central scheme Monitoring of Pesticide Residues.
  2. Samples collected from organic outlets were also found having residues of pesticides. The residues of pesticides above MRL (maximum residue limit) were found in 543 samples (2.6 per cent).
  3. The MRL is being prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  4. In 1,180 vegetables sample, non-approved pesticides residues pesticides such as bifenthrin, triazofos, acephate, metalaxyl acetamiprid and malathion were detected In 225 fruit samples, non-approved pesticides such as acephate, acetamiprid, carbosulfan, cypermethrin, profenofos, quinalphos and metalaxyl were found.
5) Odisha Government launches citizen portal.
  • Odisha Government has launched citizen portal to facilitate citizens with various services.
  • This facility was launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneshwar.
Key facts
  1. The citizen portal will provide services like character certificates, issuance of FIR copies, tenant’s verification, registration of missing permissions, employee’s verification and registration of lost property.
  2. It will also provide permission for taking out processions and rallies, permission for holding events and performances, permission for holding protests and strikes.

6) India students in Gandhi dress create Guinness Record.

  • School children of Bangalore have created a Guinness Record for ``the largest gathering of people dressed as Mahatma Gandhi``.
  • A total of 4,605 children between the ages of six and 14 dressed in traditional white dhotis – long loin cloths – came dressed in spectacles, fake moustaches and skull caps and carried bamboo sticks.
  • They assembled for four hours at Bangalore’s Kanteerva Stadium for Guinness adjudicators to count and verify the numbers. The record had been previously held by a school in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
7) PM Modi Inaugurates Solar-Powered Court In Jharkhand.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed tribal dominated Khunti district and Jharkhand administration for leading the solar mission of the country.
  • He was inaugurated the first solar powered court of the country, which marks beginning of second phase of digital India campaign after launch of e-courts.
  • Making an appeal to stop wastage of electricity, the Prime Minister said that like solar energy, we also need to focus on energy conservation.
  • Prime Minister will visit Jharkhand`s Khunti where he will inaugurate a 180 KW rooftop solar plant at the district court. He will later inaugurate a mega credit camp under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana at Bihar`s Dumka.
8) Union Government launches 2nd phase of Mission Indradhanush.
  • Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the second phase of Mission Indradhanush to achieve full immunisation of children below two years.
  • In the second phase, the week-long programme will be implemented in 352 districts of the country.
  • Mission Indradhanush depicts 7 colours of the rainbow which aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated against 7 vaccine preventable diseases. These 7 diseases are Diphtheria, Whooping cough, Tetanus, Polio, Tuberculosis, Measles and Hepatitis B.
  • WHO (World Health Organisation), UNICEF, Rotary International and others are donor partners for Mission Indradhanush.
  • The mission was launched in December 2014 on the occasion of National Good Governance Day. The first phase drive was started in April 2015 in 201 districts covering 45 lakh children and immunising 20 lakh children.

9) Central Government launched KISAN Project and Hailstorm App for crop damage.

  • The Union Government unveiled KISAN Project [C(K)rop Insurance using Space technology And geoiNformatics] of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • The pilot study will be carried out in one district each of Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra during Kharif season of 2015 and two districts each of these states during Rabi season of 2015-2016.
  • The programme will be jointly implemented by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC), an attached Office of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & FW, ISRO Centres (Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad & National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad), India Meteorological Department, CCAFS, State Agriculture Departments and State Remote Sensing Centres.
10) Union Government to spend Rs. 70,000 crore for major port’s development.
  • Union Government is planning to spend about Rs. 70,000 crore rupees on the development of major ports as part of its ambitious Sagarmala project.
  • It was announced by Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping at the first meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC).
About Sagarmala project
  1. In March 2015, Union Cabinet had given its `in-principle` nod to this flagship project for port-led development in coastal States.
  2. Sagarmala project aims for holistic port infrastructure development along the 7,500-km-long coastline through modernisation, mechanisation and computerisation.
  3. Under this port-led development framework government hopes to increase its cargo traffic three-fold in next 5 years.
  4. Two ports Kandla (Gujarat) and Paradip (Odisha) are being developed into Green Smart Cities and the Government is eyeing at 4,500 rupees profit from ports this fiscal. At Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone, government is investing 4,000 crore rupees which will provide employment to 1.5 lakh youth.
11) Achary panel recommended 400% hike in basic salary of Delhi MLAs.
  • A three-member Committee chaired by former Secretary General of the Lok Sabha PDT Achary favoured a 400 per cent hike in the basic salary of the Capital’s MLAs - from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 50,000 per month - in addition to a slew of allowances for purposes ranging from travel to office furniture.
  • The Committee also felt that while the revised salary and allowances be effective for one term, it also recommended that legislators’ salary be raised by 10% of the basic salary, or Rs. 5,000, every year from the date on which the new pay and allowances came into force to `neutralise the impact of inflation`.
Points to Note
  1. Apart from basic salary, the committee has recommended hiking constituency allowance from current Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 50,000, saying the current amount was “grossly” inadequate.
  2. A reimbursable sum of Rs. 70,000 per month has also been recommended as allowance under ‘Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance’ head which is Rs. 30,000 at pre sent.
  3. An `office rental and related utilities` allowance of Rs. 25,000 has been recommended for meeting expenditure on office space and other essential amenities provided by government agencies.
  4. The committee has also suggested a communication allowance of Rs. 10,000 per month as well as Rs. 30,000 as monthly conveyance allowance for each MLA.
  5. The ‘Daily’ allowance of each MLA during every sitting of the House or its committees has been recommended to be hiked from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000.
  6. The one-time allowances of MLAs have also been recommended to be increased significantly with one time ‘office furnishing’ allowance of Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 60,000 for purchasing office equipment and a vehicle loan of Rs. 12 lakh, which is Rs. 4 lakh at present.
  7. The committee has also recommended a hike in monthly pension from the existing Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 15,000 per month for first term of membership and an additional pension of Rs. 1,000 per month for every successive year of membership beyond the first term.
  8. The committee’s recommendations also include a maximum reimbursable travel allowance fo Rs. 3 lakh per annum for each MLA and his dependents by air, rail, road or steamer.
12) Arunachal Pradesh launches programme on conservation of Eastern Hoolock Gibbon.
  • Arunachal Pradesh Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Dr. Shashi Kumar laucnhed a community and school-based education programme on conservation of the endangered Eastern Hoolock Gibbon.
  • The program has been launched in Arunachal’s Lower Dibang Valley district and at Sadiya sub-division under Assam’s Tinsukia district. It would be implemented by ENVIRON, North-East based NGO.
About Eastern Hoolock Gibbon
  1. The eastern hoolock gibbon is a primate from the gibbon family, Hylobatidae.
  2. The species is found in extreme eastern corner of Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Myanmar east of the Chindwin River, and in south west Yunnan of China.
13) Home Minister inaugurates conference on anti-human trafficking.
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated a national conference on anti-human trafficking in the national capital.
  • On the occasion, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government is putting in efforts to strengthen the Anit-Human Trafficking Unit with the support of the state govts. It is to be noted in the series, the government carried out a sustained campaign titled ``Operation Muskaan`` throughout the country in July, 2015, to rescue the missing children and reunite them with their families.
  • ``Operation Muskaan`` was launched following the success of ``Operation Smile`` which was launched throughout the country for a month in January, 2015. A total of over 19,000 missing children were rescued during these two operations.
14) Cabinet approves National War Memorial in Delhi.
  • The union cabinet approved construction of a `National War Memorial` and a `National War Museum` in the memory of 22, 500 soldiers who sacrificed their lives while fighting wars for post-independent India.
  • The project will be made at Princess Park near India Gate, New Delhi and was scheduled to complete in 5 years.
  • He Cabinet also cleared three new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences. They will be established at Nagpur in Maharashtra, Manglagiri in Andhra Pradesh and Kalyani in West Bengal under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. The cost for this will be nearly Rs. 5,000 crore.
15) SC refuses to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar card for welfare schemes.
  • Supreme Court has refused to allow some states and statutory bodies like RBI, SEBI to voluntary use of Aadhaar card for welfare schemes other than PDS and LPG schemes.
  • Ruling in this regard was given by SC bench headed by Justice J. Chelameswar and made it clear modification in this matter will be heard by a larger constitution bench of SC.
  • This order was given by SC on applications of Union Government, RBI, IRDA, SEBI, TRAI, Pension Fund Regulatory Authority and states like Gujarat and Jharkhand.
16) Union Cabinet gives for formation of Indian Skill Development Service.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its nod for formation of Indian Skill Development Service (ISDS).
  • ISDS will be a Group A Service of the technical cadre of the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSD&E).
  • Earlier ISDS was called as the Directorate General of Employment & Training (DGET) which functioned under the aegis of Union Ministry of Labour Employment. This decision will help to enhance the capacity and efficiency of the organisation.
  • Union Cabinet also approved introduction of Non-functional Selection Grade (NFSG). It will be to the extent of 15 per cent of SDPs at the STS (Senior time Scale) level as applicable in Group ‘A’ Engineering Service.

17) Unscientific formation of roads causes 15000 deaths in India per year: Govt

  • Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari Gadkari has said that unscientifically planned roads and curves have caused around 15,000 deaths in India per annum. He said, this can be averted by improving Road Asset Management System (RAMS) technology.
  • He was speaking at the inauguration of a workshop on Road Asset Management System being developed for the National Highways. The outcome of this project, which is funded by World Bank, will assist in the accurate and scientific based maintenance and development of National Highways.
  • Mr. Gadkari said, RAMS will be tested using a data collected over 3000 kilo meters of National Highways through state of the art laser coupled with GPS connected to GAGAN and Mobile mapping system.

18) Govt releases postal stamp on late Mahanth Awaidyanath

  • Union Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad released a postal stamp on late Mahanth Awaidyanath, former MP and chair person of Shri Ram Janam Bhumi Yajnya Samiti today at Gorakhpur in U.P. Releasing 5 rupee stamp on the occasion of his death anniversary, he said that government will release stamps on freedom fighters, literary personalities and on other great people
  • Shri Prasad said that series postal stamps on Ramayana and Mahabharata will also be released soon. The Communication minister said that postal payments will be started very soon.