Contents:

  1. Fund Crunch hits MGNREGA Scheme
  2. EU Parliament to vote on Kashmir, CAA
  3. ANSI Explores The ‘Anthropologist’ Gandhi On His 150th Birth Anniversary
  4. Startup ecosystem in India
  5. Cases of diabetes, cancer rise in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh
  6. Climatic fluctuations impact climatic niches of owlets
  7. A bid to restore coral reefs in Gulf of Kutch using biorocks
  8. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal-ITAT

FUND CRUNCH HITS MGNREGA SCHEME

Why in news?

The Centre is on the verge of running out of funds for the crucial Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.

More than 96% of the allocated money has already been spent or is needed to pay pending dues, with less than ₹2,500 crore left to sustain the scheme for the next two months.

MGNREGA SCHEME Legacy IAS academy Best IAS academy in Bangalore
Demand Surplus MGNREGA

EU PARLIAMENT TO VOTE ON KASHMIR, CAA

Why in news?

The draft resolutions (numbering from B9­0077/ 2020 to B9­0082/2020) on the issue of CAA and abrogation of article 370 are due to be taken up during the plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on January 29 for discussion


ANSI EXPLORES THE ‘ANTHROPOLOGIST’ GANDHI ON HIS 150TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY

Why in news?

As part of the commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) has dedicated  an entire issue of its journal, on what it calls “Gandhian insights into applied anthropology”

So far, Gandhi’s writings, teaching and life has been the subject of interest of historians and political scientists but a closer look will point out that Gandhi and his life has been centered in anthropology

It is said that anthropologists had so far ignored Gandhi’s writings, his teachings and life, the opportunity to explore Gandhi’s contributions came during the sesquicentenary celebration of his birth anniversary


STARTUP ECOSYSTEM IN INDIA

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Start-up Ecosystem in Bangalore

CASES OF DIABETES, CANCER RISE IN RURAL AREAS OF MADHYA PRADESH

FOCUS: GEO optional, GS2-Social Justice

Why in news?

Non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes and cancer are posing a bigger challenge in the non-tribal rural areas of Madhya Pradesh than in the urban areas owing to a rapidly growing rate of incidence and the lack of awareness, according to the National Health Mission (NHM)

Details

  • Raisen, Hoshangabad and Seoni districts face the highest burden of the diseases
  • More awareness, as in the case of urban areas, translates into patients undergoing treatment despite a high incidence. As a result, the burden is moderate in urban areas, but due to low awareness in rural areas, it is increasing there
  • Screening drive under Centre’s Non Communicable Disease Control Programme, surprisingly revealed the low incidence in the 89 tribal blocks in the State, which has largest tribal population in the country, despite the low awareness levels.
  • Trans fatty acids when consumed in hydrogenated forms is a major cause of hypertension or high blood pressure level
Hypertension Legacy IAS Academy Best IAS Academy in Bangalore
Blood-pressure
  • India Hypertension Control Initiative, supported by the World Health Organisation, is catering to patients above 18 suffering from the diseases in Bhopal, Sehore, Chhindwara, Seoni, Ujjain and Ratlam districts
  • Of the country’s 100 districts with the highest prevalence of hypertension, 15 were in Madhya Pradesh. Nearly 22% of the State’s residents fell in the above average category (140 mm of Hg/90 mm of Hg), according to the Annual Health Survey, 2014

CLIMATIC FLUCTUATIONS IMPACT CLIMATIC NICHES OF OWLETS

Focus: GS3- Environment and CC

Forest Owlets are generally found in teak-dominated landscapes at the edge of the forests while Spotted Owlets are human commensals occupying human-dominated landscape

What is climate niche?

Climate niche is the optimal climatic conditions in which the species can survive.

How Climate change is impacting forest Owlet spread?

  • Owlets primarily feed on insects and small vertebrates, playing a vital role as a member of predatory guild, and acting as natural insect-controllers and rodent-killing machines.
  • Using available field observations, climate data and modeling studies, the research team reconstructed the climatic niches for the four owlets in the four time periods – Last Interglacial (120-140 thousand years ago), Last Glacial Maximum (22 thousand years ago), Mid-Holocene (6000 years ago), and present scenario (1960- 1990)
  • The study also tried to understand the biogeography of the Forest Owlet, an endemic and endangered owlet of India.
  •  The Forest Owlet occupies the same geographical region (Central India and North Western Ghats) and share similar food habits with the Spotted Owlet and Jungle Owlet, it is narrowly distributed
  • The team notes that Forest Owlets are generally found in teak-dominated landscapes at the edge of the forests while Spotted Owlets are human commensals occupying human-dominated landscape (rural and urban areas).
  • Jungle Owlets occupy dry and moist deciduous forests.

A BID TO RESTORE CORAL REEFS IN GULF OF KUTCH USING BIOROCKS

Why in news?

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), with help from Gujarat’s Forest Department, is

attempting for the first time a process to restore coral reefs using bio rock or mineral accretion technology

What is bio rock?

  • Bio rock is the name given to the substance formed by electro accumulation of minerals dissolved in seawater on steel structures that are lowered onto the sea bed and are connected to a power source, in this case solar panels that float on the surface.
  • The technology works by passing a small amount of electrical current through electrodes in the water

How does this work?

  • When a positively charged anode and negatively charged cathode are placed on the sea floor, with an electric current flowing between them, calcium ions combine with carbonate ions and adhere to the structure (cathode).
  • This results in calcium carbonate formation. Coral larvae adhere to the CaCO3 and grow quickly

INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL-ITAT

ITAT is a quasi-judicial institution set up in January, 1941 and specializes in dealing with appeals under the Direct Taxes Acts. The orders passed by the ITAT are final, an appeal lies to the High Court only if a substantial question of law arises for determination.

Details

  • Starting in 1941 with six Members constituting three Benches – one each at Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta) and Mumbai (Bombay), the numbers of Benches have progressively increased and presently ITAT has 63 Benches at 27 different stations covering almost all the cities having a seat of the High Court
  • Tax was introduced in India by the Act of 1860, where assessment was made by a Panchayat and a person feeling aggrieved by the order could appeal to the Collector of the District, whose order was final.
  • Over the years, ITAT has earned accolades, as its Members have adorned high positions in the judiciary and other equally important institutions.
  • ITAT has been rendering a yeoman service in administration of justice in the field of Direct Taxes, and celebrating its 79th Year of glorious existence in January, 2019.
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