Tuesday, August 30, 2011


A.P. Public Service Commission have decided to  conduct the written examinations at Hyderabad centre for recruitment to various posts as  per the following schedule.

  Name of the recruitment & Notifn. No.                                             Date of Exam.

Child Development Project Officers in WD & CW Dept.  {08/10 (Ltd.)} - 20/09/2011 FN & AN

Technical Assts.-Geophysics in Ground Water Sub-Service  {08/10 (Ltd.)} - 20/09/2011 FN & AN

 Asst. Engineers in A.P. Ground Water Dept. {08/10 (Ltd.)}  - 20/09/2011 FN & AN

Asst. Electrical Inspectors in A.P. Electrical Inspectorate Service {08/10 (Ltd.) & 10/10 (Genl.)}  - 20/09/2011 FN & AN

Asst. Public Relations Officers in A.P. Information & Public Relations Sub-Service {11/10 & 15/11(Spl. & Ltd.)} -  20/09/2011 FN & AN

Dy. Inspectors of Survey in A.P. Survey Settlements and  Land Records Sub-Service {18/10 (Genl.)}  - 08/10/2011 FN & AN

Asst. Inspectors of Fisheries in A.P. Fisheries Sub-Service  {08/11(Genl.)} - 08/10/2011 FN & AN

Asst. B.C. Welfare Officers, Asst. Social Welfare Officers &  Asst. Tribal Welfare Officers in respective Services   {04/11 (Genl.)} - 23/10/2011 FN &AN

Monday, August 29, 2011

Preservation of Ecology

Exploitation of minerals like iron-ore, coal and others does adversely affect wildlife and forest reserves in country. However, to minimize adverse impacts of mining on environment and ecology, permission accorded by the Ministry of Environment & Forests under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for mining is subject to compliance of appropriate safeguards.

Comprehensive study to assess impact of mining, industrial and other developmental activities on wildlife and forests reserves in the country has not been undertaken by the Ministry. However, to obtain the Environment Clearance under the EIA Notification, 2006 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, projects, including mining and industrial projects, covered in the Schedule to the EIA Notification 2006 are required to undertake Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study to assess impact of the project on biological aspects likely to be caused by the project. On the basis of the EIA study, the Ministry of Environment & Forests while according environment clearance stipulates appropriate mitigative measures to minimize adverse impacts of such project to preserve ecology.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by Shri Sanjay Dhotre and Shri Subhash Bapurao Wankhede in Lok Sabha.

State-Wise Minor Ports

Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan informed the Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question that as per the records available with the Ministry of Shipping, state-wise break-up of Non – Major Ports (Minor Ports) are as follows:
                     Gujarat                -    41                       Lakshadweep       -      10
                     Maharashtra        -    48                       A & N Islands      -     23
                     Karnataka            -    10                       Tamilnadu            -      15
                     Andhra Pradesh   -    12                      Goa                      -       5
                     Orissa                  -    13                      Daman & Diu        -       2
                     Kerala                  -    17                       Pondicherry          -        2
                     West Bengal        -      1

The Minister further stated that the Union Government is responsible for development of 12 Major Ports wherein loading and unloading of cargo from large ships is done.   

As per Indian Ports Act, 1908,   the responsibility for development and promotion of such ports vests with the respective State Governments, the Minister added.

Protection of White Tiger

The Government has formulated new strategy for protection of white tigers in the country. The Central Zoo Authority has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for conservation breeding of white tiger in Madhya Pradesh.

As per Central Zoo Authority, there are 91 white tigers housed in 21 different Indian zoos as on March, 2011.

The Central Zoo Authority has initiated action for the setting up a conservation breeding centre for white tiger at Govindgarh in Rewa (Madhya Pradesh) through the State of Madhya Pradesh

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by Shri Ganesh Singh in Lok Sabha.

National River Policy

Due to rapid growth in population and urbanization, the demand for water in the country has increased significantly. Thus there is an urgent need for national policy for sustainable use of river water. Government of India has, therefore, undertaken review of the National Water Policy, 2002 to ensure sustainable and equitable development. A drafting committee has been set up by the Ministry of Water Resources to draft a new National Water Policy taking into account the feedback received during consultation meetings held with the Members of Parliament, Academia, Experts & Professionals, Non-Governmental Organization, Corporate Leaders and representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions.

Conservation of rivers is an ongoing and collective effort of the Central and State Governments. The Central Government initiated the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in the year 1985, which was later expanded to the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). The Plan presently covers 39 rivers in 185 towns spread over 20 states. Creation of infrastructure for sewage management and disposal is also being undertaken through other central schemes, such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns, as well as under state schemes.

With the pollution abatement works completed so far under GAP and NRCP, despite significant increase in urbanization, industrialization and growth in population in cities along the banks of river, the water quality, in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) values for major rivers, is reported to have improved as compared to the water quality before taking up pollution abatement works under NRCP, based on independent monitoring undertaken by reputed institutions.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by Shri Anandrao Adsul , Shri Adhalrao Patil Shivaji and Shri Gajanan D. Babar in Lok Sabha.

Capitals, Governors and Chief Ministers of States

States CapitalsGovernorsChief Ministers
(1) Andhra PradeshHyderabadMr. E.S.L.NarasimhanMr. N.Kiran Kumar Reddy
(2) Arunachal PradeshItanagarGen. (Retd.) J. J. SinghMr. Jarbom Gamlin
(3) AssamDispurMr. J. B. PatnaikMr. Tarun Gogoi
(4) BiharPatnaMr. Devanand KonwarMr. Nitish Kumar
(5) ChhattisgarhRaipurMr. Shekhar DuttDr. Raman Singh
(6) GoaPanajiMr. K. SankaranarayanMr. Digambar V. Kamat
(7) GujaratGandhinagarDr. Kamla BeniwalMr. Narendra Modi
(8) HaryanaChandigarhMr. Jagannath PahadiaMr. Bhupinder S. Hooda
(9) Himachal PradeshShimlaMs. Urmila SinghMr. Prem Kumar Dhumal
(10) Jammu and KashmirSrinagar (Summer) Jammu (Winter)Mr. N. N. VohraMr. Omar Abdullah
(11) JharkhandRanchiDr. Syed Ahmed Mr. Arjun Munda
(12) KarnatakaBengaluruMr. Hans Raj BhardwajMr. DV Sadananda Gowda
(13) KeralaThiruvananthapuramMr. M. O. H. FarookMr. V. S. Achuthanandan
(14) Madhya PradeshBhopalMr. Ram Naresh YadavMr. Shivraj Singh Chauhan
(15) MaharashtraMumbaiMr. K. Sankaranarayan Mr. Prithviraj Chavan
(16) ManipurImphalMr. Gurbachan JagatMr.Okram Ibobi Singh
(17) MeghalayaShillongMr. R. S. MooshaharyMr. Mukul A. Sangma
(18) MizoramAizawlMr. Vakkom PurushothamanMr.Lalthanhawla
(19) NagalandKohimaMr. Nikhil KumarMr. Neiphiu Rio
(20) OrissaBhubaneswarMr. M. C. BhandareMr. Naveen Patnaik
(21) PunjabChandigarhMr. Shivraj V. PatilMr. Parkash Singh Badal
(22) RajasthanJaipurMr. Shivraj V. Patil (Acting)Mr. Ashok Gehlot
(23) SikkimGangtokMr. Balmiki Prasad SinghMr. Pawan Chamling
(24) Tamil NaduChennaiMr. K RosaiahMs. Jayalalithaa
(25) TripuraAgartalaMr. D. Y. PatilMr. Manik Sarkar
(26) UttarakhandDehradunMs. Margaret AlvaMr. Ramesh Pokhriyal
(27) Uttar PradeshLucknowMr. B. L. JoshiMs. Mayawati
(28) West BengalKolkataMr. M. K. NarayananMs. Mamata Banerjee

Friday, August 26, 2011

Monsoon Diseases

During rainy season some want to enjoy watching the weather from the comfort of their homes eating their favourite ‘pakoras’ and sipping a hot cup of ‘chai’, while others want to go out and enjoy the rains. Though following a scorching summer the rain ushers in new lease of life, it sometimes brings with it some deadly diseases.

Following are the most common diseases, their symptoms and some suggestions to prevent them during the rainy season.


• This is the most dangerous disease in India with a very high number of deaths credited to it. The disease is spread by Female Anopheles mosquito. A large number of cases are reported during the rainy season as water logging provides conducive conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

• Fever at regular intervals, bouts of shivering, muscle pain and weakness are the general symptoms of Maleria.

• Since this disease is spread by mosquitoes the best prevention is to keep the surroundings clean and mosquito-free. Make sure that water does not stagnate in your area as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Use DDT in the drains near your home. Use of mosquito repellents and nets is highly recommended. Do not ignore any symptoms of malaria and consult your doctor immediately if you feel any sign of the disease.


• Cholera is caused by contaminated food and water. Also poor hygienic conditions help the spread of the disease. It normally spreads in places with poor sanitation facilities.

• Severe diarrhea with watery stools is the most common symptom of Cholera. There could also be vomiting with immediate water loss and muscle cramps.

• Keep the drinking water clean and boil it before using. Maintain personal hygiene and good sanitation. It is advisable to get vaccinated as it gives immunity for almost six months.

• Oral rehydration should be given immediately for patients suffering from Cholera.


• Typhoid is another highly infectious disease that spreads during the monsoon season and it is also caused by contaminated food and water.

• The most common symptom of this disease is prolonged fever. Severe pain in abdomen and headache can also be the symptoms.

• This is a highly communicable disease so the patient should be isolated from the rest of the family. Advance vaccination may also help prevent it. High intake of fluid is advised to patients to prevent dehydration. Since this disease has a tendency of relapsing precautions should continue even after apparent recovery.

Hepatitis A

• Hepatitis A is generally caused by flies. It can also spread by coming in direct contact with the patient.

• The symptoms are similar to those of flu including high fever along with headache, pain in joints and vomiting.

• The most important prevention of this disease is vaccination. This vaccine is available at all the government and private hospitals. Complete bed rest and a high calorie diet is advised to the patient.

Common Cold

• Common cold is the most common disease that spreads easily during rainy season. • Constant sneezing, sore throat and fever are the common symptoms of the disease. • The easy way to prevent common cold is to avoid catching it. But if at all it catches you, treat yourself with a glass of hot turmeric milk. Gargles with warm water give relief to your sore throat. If things don’t improve you may like to see a doctor.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011


1. The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of the ‘National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms’ recently. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
I. It will facilitate disposal of pending cases in three years, from the current average of 15 years
II. It provides for the establishment of an All India Judicial Service
III. Union Labour Minister will be the National Mission Leader
a) I only
b) I and II only
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III

Explanation :
The Union Cabinet on June 23, 2011 approved an ambitious programme that would usher in radical legal reforms aimed at disposal of pending cases in three years, from the current average of 15 years, and establishment of an All India Judicial Service. Known as the “National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms,” it seeks to operationalise a number of plans to ensure expeditious and quality justice.
Objectives of the National Mission
The National Mission will focus on improvement in administration of justice and justice delivery and legal reforms in the entire country and it has to address diverse needs of all sections of stakeholders in a Mission Mode approach.
The Mission spanning 5 years from 2011-2016 would focus on two major goals as envisaged in the vision document, namely
(i) increasing access by reducing delays and arrears in the system, and
(ii) enhancing accountability through structural changes and by setting performance standards and capacities.
The salient features of the National Mission are:-
(1) The National Mission would comprise of Advisory Council, Governing Council, National Mission Leader and the Mission Directorate.
(2) The Advisory Council will advise on the goals, objectives and strategies of the National Mission and the Action Plan and its implementation and performance of the Mission in meeting its objectives and would be chaired by the Minister for Law and Justice and would have membership from Parliament, State Governments, Jurists & senior officers of Government of India.
(3) The Governing Council would facilitate implementation, give policy directions and oversee the work of the Mission and would be headed by the Minister for Law and Justice.
(4) The Secretary, Department of Justice would be the National Mission Leader.
(5) A Mission Directorate would be constituted to implement and monitor the various initiative / programme of the National Mission. It would be headed by an officer of the rank of the Joint Secretary who would act as the Mission Director.
(6) An Action Plan has been drawn up which would of course be subjected to change once the Governing Council meets to set out the agenda.
(7) Infrastructure development for the subordinate judiciary is the major thrust area of the National Mission. Inadequacy of infrastructure facilities in District and Subordinate courts has remained a major bottleneck in the judicial system largely contributing to the accumulation of arrears. In order to augment the resources of the State Governments for development of infrastructure facilities for the judiciary a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) has remained in operation since 1993-94 at 50:50 basis. A preliminary assessment of requirement of infrastructure for subordinate courts from the States revealed that around Rs. 7000 crore would be needed over five years for construction/maintenance etc. The Central Government outflow would be around Rs. 5500 crore over five years.
(8) The funding of infrastructure development of subordinate courts in the ratio of Central/State assistance will be 75:25 instead of the present 50:50. In case of North-Eastern State, the ratio will be 90:10 as already agreed to in the CSS Scheme by the Planning Commission. This modified scheme will be implemented under the National Mission

2. Late K.M. Mathew, in whose honour India Post released a postage stamp recently, was known for achievements in:
a) Sports
b) Archaeology
c) Industry
d) Journalism
e) Science

Explanation :
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid rich tribute to late K M Mathew, the iconic chief editor of Malayala Manorama, describing him as an “Indian legend”, as he received an album containing commemorative stamp on Mathew issued by the Department of Posts from HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on August 2, 2011. The album also contained the First Day Cover honouring Mathew, which was released on August 1, Mathew’s first death anniversary.

3. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is operated under the joint responsibility of Central Government and State/UT Governments. Which of the following tasks are performed by the State/UT Governments?
I. Procurement, allocation and transportation of foodgrains upto the designated depots of the FCI
II. Identification of eligible BPL families and issuance of ration cards to them
III. Supervision over distribution of allocated foodgrains to eligible card holders through the Fair Price Shops (FPSs)
a) I only
b) I and II only
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III

Explanation :
Evaluation studies of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) have been done by several agencies including the Planning Commission and World Bank. As per the report of the Programme Evaluation Organisation (PEO) of the Planning Commission on Performance Evaluation of TPDS (2005), the implementation of TPDS is hampered due to targeting errors, prevalence of bogus cards and diversion of foodgrains from the supply chain. The World Bank has prepared a report titled ‘Social Protection for a Changing India’ (2011), which deals with key safety net, social assistance and social security programmes including the Public Distribution System (PDS). The report indicates that there is a gap between the release of foodgrains by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the offtake of foodgrains by the households, which is due to leakages/diversion of allocated foodgrains. This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Prof. K.V. Thomas in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on August 9, 2011.
He said that TPDS is operated under the joint responsibility of Central Government and State/UT Governments. The Central Government is responsible for procurement, allocation and transportation of foodgrains upto the designated depots of the FCI. The operational responsibilities for lifting and distributing the allocated foodgrains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible BPL families, issuance of ration cards to them and supervision over distribution of allocated foodgrains to eligible card holders through the Fair Price Shops (FPSs) are of the State/UT Governments.

4. Ronjan Sodhi is known for achievements in which sport?
a) Shooting
b) Rowing
c) Wrestling
d) Archery
e) Weightlifting

Explanation :
One of the bright prospects for a medal in the London Games, double trap marksman Ronjan Sodhi, reached yet another milestone in his decorated career, as he was ranked No.1 in the world, as per the latest rankings released by the ISSF on August 1, 2011. A gold medallist in the World Cup Finals in Turkey last year, the 31-year-old Ronjan had recently won the silver medal in the Beijing World Cup to clinch the Olympic quota place. In the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year, Ronjan won the only shooting gold for India, beating two Chinese in their backyard. He also had to settle for the individual and team silver medals in the Commonwealth Games at home earlier

5. Domestic workers will now be covered under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). Which of the following statements is/are correct?
I. The workers will be required to pay only 10% of the premium while the remaining 90% will be contributed by the Central and State governments.
II. Workers will get annual health insurance cover up to Rs. 30,000/- every year.
III. A maximum of five members per family would be covered.
I only
I and II only
II and III only
III and I only
I, II and III

Explanation :
The Union Cabinet on June 23, 2011 approved the extension of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) to all the registered domestic workers in the country. The scheme is expected to cover approximately 47.50 lakh domestic workers in the country. The Scheme envisages smart card based cashless health insurance cover up to Rs. 30,000/- in any empanelled hospital anywhere in the country. The insurance coverage would be extended to all registered domestic workers in the age group of 18-59 years. The beneficiaries would have to get identification certificates from any two of the four institutions — the employer, residents welfare associations, registered trade unions or the police. A maximum of five members per family would be covered.
The funds will be allocated from the National Social Security Fund for Unorganised Workers. The premium will be shared by the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 75:25. In case of States in NE Regional and J&K the ratio is 90:10.
About RSBY: The RSBY provides for smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs. 30,000/- per annum to BPL workers (a unit of five) in unorganised sector is presently being implemented in 25 States/UTs. More than 2.34 crore smart cards have been issued as on 31.5.2011. The scheme has since been extended to building and other construction workers registered with Welfare Boards constituted under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, street vendors, beedi workers and such MNREGA workers who have worked for more than 15 days during the preceding year

6. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has decided to utilise the services of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) for:
a) Checking malnutrition by providing nutritional supplements to infants in BPL families
b) Keeping a watch over gender selection clinics in rural and urban areas
c) Providing family planning services at homes of beneficiaries
d) Popularising initiatives taken by Central government under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana
e) None of the above

Explanation :
NRHM to involve ASHAs in family planning initiatives
Family planning: The mission steering group (MSG) of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) on June 21, 2011 decided to utilise Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) for delivery of contraceptives at the homes of beneficiaries. For this, ASHAs can charge Re. 1 for a pack of 3 condoms, Re. 1 for an Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP) cycle and Rs. 2 for an Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) from the beneficiaries.
Maternal & infant care: The MSG — the highest decision-making body of the NRHM — has also decided to provide a performance-linked incentive of Rs. 250 to ASHAs for reducing the infant mortality rate. The proposed schedule of home visit for institutional delivery is 6 home visits on days 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 42 to assess the newborn as well as to ensure post-partum care of mother. In the case of home delivery, a total of 7 home visits will be required as ASHA should be present at the birth or visit the mother and baby as soon as possible within the first 24 hours and on subsequent specified days.
Promoting menstrual hygiene: It was decided to further improve and streamline the scheme to promote menstrual hygiene amongst the adolescent girls in rural areas. For this, the MSG has decided to revise the existing scheme. It will be taken up in 152 districts instead of 150. Six sanitary napkins (Rs. 7.50 per pack) will be procured for which assistance will be provided by the Centre.

7. Which major foodgrain producing country has proposed to host a global grain reserve to avoid price fluctuations under the auspices of the United Nations?
a) India
b) Australia
c) USA
d) Ukraine
e) China

Explanation :
Ukraine has proposed to the United Nations that it host a global grain reserve to avoid price fluctuations. The Ukrainian Agriculture Minister announced the move on August 4, 2011. “Our country is ready to contribute 10-12 million tons of grain to such a reserve. We are also prepared to ensure high-quality storage and make grain interventions if the U.N. passes relevant resolutions,” said Nikolai Prisyazhnyuk. According to domestic experts, Ukraine may reach annual grain production of around 80 million tons within the coming six years, more than half of which could be exported. According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, Ukraine's grain harvest in 2011 is expected to reach 42 million tons

8. The rules governing release of funds under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) were modified recently. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
I. MPs would be allowed to spend on projects in any State or Union Territory other than the one from where they were elected.
II. Projects implemented by government agencies would now be provided 75 per cent of the project cost as the first instalment
III. Projects implemented by non-governmental agencies would be provided 60 per cent of the project cost as the first instalment
a) I only
b) I and II only
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III

Explanation :
The amount to be released in the first instalment for works proposed under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) has been increased. The MPLADS allows MPs to suggest works to the Head of District to be taken up in their constituency. Projects implemented by government agencies would now be provided 75 per cent of the project cost as the first instalment, while those implemented by non-governmental agencies would be provided 60 per cent, according to Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation M.S. Gill in June 2011. At present, only 50 per cent of the estimated cost is released as the first instalment, irrespective of the nature of the project, which led to complaints of delays in completion.
Conditions had been further relaxed for smaller projects costing less than Rs. 2 lakh. For them, the entire amount would be released at one go. Besides, in a bid to ensure that funds were not spread too thinly, no project costing less than Rs.1 lakh would be sanctioned. Exceptions, however, would be made in the case of essential projects, such as installation of hand pumps, and purchase of computers and their accessories.
MPs would also be allowed to spend up to Rs.10 lakh a year on projects in any State or Union Territory other than the one from where they were elected. “The aim is to promote national unity and fraternity among the people at the grassroots level.”
In an important departure from the past, a limit of Rs.50 lakh per annum has been imposed on contributions to trusts and societies so that more money was available for community-related works.

9. Which of the following statements about India’s production and consumption of petroleum products in 2010-11 is/are correct?
I. India’s consumption of petroleum products in 2010-11 was more than 150 million metric tonnes (MMT)
II. Production of petroleum products from indigenous sources has increased from 2008-09 to 2010-11
III. India is dependent on imports for 75% of its crude oil requirement in 2010-11
a) I only
b) I and II only
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III

Explanation :
Indigenous production and Import dependence percentage of petroleum products availability from domestic sources during the last three years i.e. 2008, 2009 and 2010 is given below:
Indigenous production and Import Dependence (%) (Million Metric Tonne)

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11
Total Consumption 133.6 138.2 141.8
Indigenous crude processing 28.8 28.9 33.3
Products from Indigenous crude 27.1 27.2 31.3
Products from Fractionators 4.2 4.4 4.2
Total Indigenous production 31.3 31.6 35.5
% Self Sufficient 23.4 22.8 25.0
% Import Dependence 76.6. 77.2 75.0
Under the PSC regime the position of reserves of oil and oil equivalent of natural gas (O+OEG) including CBM as on 01.04.11 are: Initial In-Place Reserves: 2029.38 MMT (O+OEG); Ultimate Recoverable Reserves: 835.56 MMT (O+OEG); Balance recoverable Reserves: 647.22 MMT (O+OEG). India is unlikely to become self-sufficient in meeting the growing demand for petroleum products from indigenous sources in near future. This information was given by the Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas R.P.N. Singh in the Rajya Sabha on August 9, 2011.

10. Which of the following statements about the draft National Food Security Bill, 2011 approved by the National Advisory Council (NAC) recently is/are correct?
I. It guarantees subsidised foodgrains to at least 90 per cent of rural households, and 50 percent of urban households.
II. “Priority households” under the bill consist of Lower Middle Class families.
III. ‘General households’ would be sold foodgrains at a price not exceeding 50 per cent of the Minimum Support Price paid to farmers.
a) I only
b) I and II only
c) II and III only
d) III and I only
e) I, II and III

Explanation :
Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) on June 23, 2011 approved the draft National Food Security Bill, 2011 which aims to make provision of food support to people facing hunger a duty of the state. The bill guarantees subsidised foodgrains to at least 90 per cent of rural households, and 50 percent of urban households. The draft bill will now be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval.
The Bill draft categorises two types of households as eligible for discounted grain — “priority households” which are below the poverty line (BPL); and “general households” which consist of Lower Middle Class families.
46 per cent of the rural and 28 per cent of urban households are categorised as ‘priority households’.
49 per cent of the rural and 22 per cent of urban households categorised as ‘general group’.
According to the Bill, priority households are entitled to 35 kilos (7 kg per head) per month of foodgrain at the rate of Rs 3 per kg of rice, Rs 2 per kg of wheat, and Re 1 per kg of millets. General households would have the right to 20 kg (4 kg per head) at a price not exceeding 50 per cent of the Minimum Support Price paid to farmers for the respective foodgrain.
The Bill has also stood by the legal backing given to the PDS system, with extensively dealing with aspects like procurement, storage and distribution through Fair Price Shops as the only approach for implementing the provisions of food security.
It also envisaged setting up of a seven-member National Food Commission, to be headed by a sitting or a former Supreme Court judge and similar State Commissions to be presided by a High Court judge.
While legalising PDS, the proposed legislation has made it mandatory for the government to maintain “financial viability of Fair Price Shops” by ensuring “FPS are financially viable by ensuring that reasonable commissions, salaries for the manager are provided in a time bound manner”.
With NAC finalising the draft bill, the ball is now in the government’s court which would have a difficult task of choosing from this and the one prepared by the Food Ministry.

Biosphere Reserves in India

Date of Estbl.
Area (in km2)
1 Achanakamar -
Covers parts of Anupur and Dindori districts of Madhya Pradesh and parts of Bilaspur Districts of Chhattisgarh State
2 Agasthyamalai
Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries and their adjoining areas in Kerala
3 Dehang-Dibang
Part of Siang and Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh
4 Dibru-Saikhowa
Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts (Assam)
5 Great Nicobar
Southern most islands of Andaman and Nicobar (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)
6 Gulf of Mannar
Indian part of Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka (Tamil Nadu)
7 Khangchendzonga
Parts of Khangchendzonga Hills and Sikkim
8 Manas
Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamprup and Darang Districts (Assam)
9 Nanda Devi
Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Bageshwar Districts (Uttarakhand)
10 Nilgiri
Part of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Madumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Siruvani Hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka)
11 Nokrek
Part of Garo Hills (Meghalaya)
12 Pachmarhi
Parts of Betul, Hoshangabad and Chindwara Districts of Madhya Pradesh
13 Simlipal
Part of Mayurbhanj District (Orissa)
14 Sunderbans
Part of delta of Ganga and Brahamaputra river system (West Bengal)
Source: National Biodiversity Action Plan, 2008, MoEF

Indian Govt. to set up data Centres in 28 states

Union Government of India is ready to set up large number of data centres across the country to provide technological underpinning for initiatives under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
Once the cabinet approves the project, the implementation is expected to take six to eight months. The State Data Centre (SDC) proposal is part of the NeGP Plan to provide digital services to citizens. Under the proposal, the Ministry will incubate centres and other initiatives like service portals in all 28 states. These centres will provide Secure Data Storage Facilities, Online Delivery of Services, Disaster Recovery, Remote Management and Service Integration.
The final number of data centres needed in each state will depend on the size of the state. Under the new norms, each data centre will be operated, managed and controlled by government staff with assistance of outside experts. Private suppliers will provide physical infrastructure, while government will provide software and service infrastructure.

Bihar Panchayats set for e-Governance

The Government of Bihar has approved a proposal to introduce e-Governance in all its 8,479 Panchayats at a cost of INR 252 million.
The Bihar State Electronics Development Corporation (BSEDC)) will design the software for the e-Governance project in cooperation with the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (ILFS) will monitor its implementation. Under the project, Panchayat Information Centres or Panchayat Portals called 'Vasudha Kendras' will be set up.
This will enable villagers to connect with the outside world and provide affordable and easy access to information about the government and its policies. 'Vasudha Kendras' will be connected to all state departments through the Internet and the government will provide computers and Internet connections at the Panchayat Level Centre.
The project aims to establish direct contact with villagers and making the functioning of the government more transparent. According to the plan, eight government departments, including the Chief Minister Secretariat, will be linked to the State-wide Area Network (SWAN). Video-conferencing facility has also been set up in the state's 38 district headquarters.

Karnataka Govt. to launch e-Halli Centers

The Karnataka state government will soon launch e-Halli, an e-Governance initiative, for disseminating all kinds of information to the people residing in villages. The e-Halli Centres would be established on the premises of all 5,628 Gram Panchayats in the state. These centres will provide a wide array of information to village residents. The programme, which is piloted by the Department for Women and Child Welfare and Karnataka State Women Development Corporation, will be launched in November. The government plans to extend this to the villages to bring them on a par with cities. In the first phase, the centres would be implemented in 10 districts - Davangere, Chitradurga, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Haveri, Gadag, Dharwad, Belgaum, Koppal and Bellary districts. The Yashaswini Nagara Hagu Grameena Abhivruddhi Parishat (YNGAP), a NGO of Davangere, is the nodal agency for establishing these centres. The NGO had already established five centres in Davangere district on a pilot basis and they are said to be highly successful. The Karnataka State Women Development Corporation will provide a margin of INR 35,000 under the "Asare" scheme for self-help group (SHG) members to establish the centres. The e-Halli centres would provide services and information about various schemes of Government departments, both Central and State, Gram Panchayats, Banks, Hospitals, Blood Banks, Diagnostic Centres, Veterinary Centres, Market Prices, Agricultural Farming, Business, Educational Institutions, Timings & Fare of Busses, Trains, Flights, the place of Reservation and Goods Transport system.

Malappuram (Kerala) became India's first e-district

Another feather in Kerala's cap. The state has transformed one of its most backward districts Malappuram into India's first e-literate district, deploying the world's largest rural wireless broadband network. Payment of electricity bills, getting birth certificates can be done by e-mails, doing away with long bus journey and wait at counters.
The State government has appointed SBI as e-payment gateway for such bill payment transactions. Also, police stations in the district are accessible to people through 'Akshaya Kendras' or information kiosks. Malappuram residents can file complaints to police stations from Akshaya centres through e-mail.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)

To bring the benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the last mile to ensure transparent, timely and hassle free delivery of citizen services, Government of India has initiated e-Governance programme in country in the late 1990s. After that, Union Government has approved the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), comprising of 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 8 components on May 18, 2006 to give a boost to e-Governance initiatives in India. Department of Information Technology (DIT) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG) has formulated the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
Vision of National e-Governance Plan
National e-Governance Plan has been launched with the aim of improving delivery of Government services to citizens and businesses is guided by the following vision:
“Make all Public Services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.”
The vision statement clearly underlines these priorities of the Government in fostering good governance:
Accessibility: The vision has been designed keeping the rural population in mind. The need is to reach those sections of the society which have remained tangential to the government sphere due to various reasons like geographical challenges and lack of awareness. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) has a provision for State Wide Area Network (SWAN) to connect all the government offices upto the block level and Common Service Centres (CSCs) for accessing the citizens from the rural areas.
Common Service Delivery Outlets: At present, citizens especially those living in remote rural areas have to travel long distances to avail a service through a government department or its local offices. This is time-consuming and costly affairs for a common man to access citizen services. To overcome this problem, as a part of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) vision, one computer and internet enabled Common Service Centre (CSC) is envisaged to set up for every six villages so that Villagers can easily avail these services. These Common Service Centres (CSCs) are envisaged to offer online Integrated Service Delivery on ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ basis.
Adopting e-Governance for improving the Governance: The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will enable government to reach citizens thereby improving governance. This will also enable improvement in monitoring and implementing of various government schemes thereby increasing the accountability and transparency in government.
Improve the quality of life of citizens: e-Governance would help in attaining this objective through the provision of citizen centric service delivery at nominal cost, and thereby providing better turnaround times and convenience in demanding and availing services.
Hence, the vision is to use e-Governance as the route for governments to strengthen good governance. All services provided through the various e-Governance initiatives are expected to assist the governments at the Central and State levels in reaching the yet ‘unreached’ and enable involvement and empowerment of marginalized groups through their participation in the government processes thereby contributing towards poverty reduction and bridging the sharp social and economic divide.
Implementation Strategy for National e-Governance Plan
A prudent approach, therefore, is proposed for the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), which is based on lessons learnt from the past and experiences from successful e-Governance applications that have been implemented nationally and internationally. The approach and methodology adopted for National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) contains the following elements:
Common Infrastructure: National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) implementation involves setting up of common and support IT infrastructure such as: State Wide Area Networks (SWANs), State Data Centres (SDCs), Common Services Centres (CSCs) and Electronic Service Delivery Gateways.
Governance: Suitable arrangements for monitoring and coordinating the implementation of National e-Governance Plan under the direction of the competent authorities have been set up. The programme also involves evolving/ laying down standards and policy guidelines, providing technical support, undertaking capacity building, Research and Development etc. Department of Information Technology (DIT) strengthens itself and various institutions like National Informatics Centre (NIC), Standardization, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG) etc., to play these roles effectively.
Centralized Initiative, Decentralized Implementation: e-Governance is being promoted through a centralized initiative to the extent necessary to ensure citizen-centric orientation, realize the objective of inter-operability of various e-Governance applications and ensure optimal utilization of Information and Communication Technology infrastructure and resources while allowing for a decentralized implementation model. It also aims at identifying successful projects and replicating them with required customization wherever needed.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) model: It has to be adopted wherever feasible to enlarge the resource pool without compromising on the security aspects.
Integrative elements: Adoption of unique identification codes for citizens, businesses and property is to be promoted to facilitate integration and avoid ambiguity.
Implementation Framework for National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)
Considering the multiplicity of agencies involved in the implementation of National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) and the need for overall aggregation and integration at the national level, it has been decided to implement National e-Governance Plan as a programme, with well-defined roles and responsibilities of each agency involved and to create an appropriate programme management structure and it has already been approved by government. The key components and features of the programme management structure are given in the graphic.
The Strategy for Service Delivery
A common digital service delivery infrastructure consisting of the State Wide Area Network (SWAN), State Data Centre (SDC), National/State Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG/SSDG), State Portal and Common Services Centre (CSC) are being created in every State and Union Territory to ensure seamless and single-window delivery of public services to the common man.
National e-Governance Division (NeGD)
The Department of Information Technology, Government of India has formed the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) as an autonomous business division within Media Lab Asia, under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India, for assisting Department of Information Technology in the Programme Management of National e-Governance Plan. National e-Governance Plan supports Department of Information Technology in the following tasks:
  • Facilitating implementation of Mission Mode Projects by Line Ministries/ State Governments,
  • Providing technical assistance to Central Ministries/ State Line Departments,
  • Acting as Secretariat to Apex Committee undertaking technical appraisal of all National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) Projects,
  • Providing State e-Mission Teams to support States in National e-Governance Plan implementation.
Capacity Building
National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) is a large and complex endeavor covering 20 central departments, 35 States/ Union Territories and 360 departments across these states/UTs and nearly 500 implementation agencies. In all it is expected to require 70,000 man-years of effort. Therefore, for National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) to achieve its goals, capacity gap that need to be addressed include engaging experts, developing skills and imparting training. Capacity Building scheme is aimed at addressing the above challenges in a holistic manner including support for creation of State e-Governance Mission Teams (SeMT), Project e-Governance Mission Teams (PeMT) and Human Resource management. This scheme is also meant for initiating through various activities like empanelment of candidates, facilitating States in recruitments and providing orientation and sensitization at various levels of leaders/ officers involved in e-Governance project implementation, orientation for State e-Governance Mission Teams (SeMT), and specialized trainings with centralized curriculum and content development for various level of officers at programme and project levels.
It is envisaged to fill in the three specific capacity gaps in the states, in general:
  • Lack of Personnel with appropriate background and aptitude,
  • Inadequate skill sets of personnel already deployed
  • Lack of appropriate institutional framework to handle the specific program

National Green Tribunal

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been established under the NGT Act, 2010 on 18th October, 2010 is headed by Chairperson L.S. Panta, a Retired Supreme Court Judge. The Tribunal has been established for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. 

The Law Commission in its 186th Report recognised the inadequacies of the existing appellate authorities constituted under various environmental laws and reviewed their position with a view to bring uniformity in their constitution and the scope of their jurisdiction.  The Law Commission undertook the study pursuant to the observations of the Supreme Court regarding the need for constitution of environmental courts. The Law Commission, in its said report, recommended for setting up of environmental courts in each State or for a group of States for exercising all powers of a civil court in its original jurisdiction and with appellate judicial powers against orders passed by the concerned authorities under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991. 

The Law Commission’s Report was considered in the Ministry. In view of the growing environmental challenges, it was decided to set up a green tribunal as a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.

National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

·    The Tribunal has the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. 
·    The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
·    The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher Courts.
·    The Tribunal is mandated to make an endeavor for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
·    Initially, the NGT is proposed to be set up at five places of sittings and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible.
·    The Tribunal has the original jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to environment, including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment is involved.  
·    The Tribunal shall hear disputes arising out of the implementation of environmental laws mentioned in Schedule I of the NGT Act, 2010.  
·    The  Government is empowered to add any Act of Parliament having regard to objectives of environmental protection and conservation of natural resources. 
·    The Tribunal is competent to provide relief over and above as is admissible under the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991. 
·    In order to ensure access to justice, pollution control boards and local authorities have also been empowered under the NGT Act to file an application or appeal before the Tribunal on behalf of the affected person. 
·    Appeal against any order of the Tribunal shall lie to the Supreme Court. 
·    No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any appeal in respect of any matter which the Tribunal is empowered to determine under its appellate jurisdiction. 
·    No injunction shall be granted by any civil court or other authority in respect of any order passed by the Tribunal. 
·    Consequent to enforcement of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 and the National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997 have been repealed. The cases pending before the National Environment Appellate Authority at the time of establishment of the National Green Tribunal have been transferred to the National Green Tribunal. 
·    The five places of its sitting are at Delhi, Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai. 
·    Delhi has already been specified as ordinary place of sitting of NGT vide Government of India notification dated 5.5.2011. 
·    The Tribunal at Delhi has already commenced its hearings from 4th July, 2011. 
·    The applicants can file applications/petitions before the Tribunal at Delhi till other benches of the Tribunal become functional. 
·    The infrastructure at the 5 places of sitting of the Tribunal is being set up for making it fully functional. 
·    At present, the Tribunal consists of Chairperson and 3 Expert Members and 2 Judicial Members.  The Expert Members are experts in physical and life sciences, engineering and law including persons having practical knowledge and administrative experience in the field of environmental policy and regulation.  The Ministry is in the process of filling up of the remaining vacancies of Members in the Tribunal since NGT Act, 2010 provides for a minimum of 10 Expert Members and equal number of Judicial Members.

Rajya Sabha approves Soumitra Sen’s impeachment

Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court could be the first judge in the country to be removed, with the Rajya Sabha  overwhelmingly approving impeachment motion against him.
As many as 189 members voted in favour of the motion to impeach the 53-year-old Judge after a two-day debate on the issue, in the second case in Parliament’s history and the first-ever in the Upper House. Seventeen members voted against.
All parties except BSP were of the view that Justice Sen was guilty of misappropriating Rs. 33.23 lakh which were under his custody as a court-appointed receiver in the capacity as a lawyer and misrepresenting facts before a Calcutta court.
Impeachment proceedings followed motions moved by Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley after an Inquiry Committee, appointed by the Rajya Sabha Chairman and headed by Supreme Court Judge B. Sudershan Reddy, held Justice Sen guilty of misbehaviour.
Justice Sen on August 17 appeared before the House and strongly defended himself arguing that he was a “victim” and appealed to members to vote by conscience. The House, however, rejected his defence.
With the Rajya Sabha giving its nod for removal of Justice Sen, the impeachment motion will now be taken up by the Lok Sabha  with the Lower House expected to deliberate on it on August 24-25.
As per the Constitution, a sitting judge of High Court or Supreme Court can be removed only by impeachment by both Houses of Parliament with majority present and two-third of them voting in favour.
While putting motions to vote, Chairman Hamid Ansari said this required a special majority.
The case in which Justice Sen was held guilty dates back to 1983 relating to a dispute between SAIL and Shipping Corporation.
Justice Sen was appointed receiver by the Calcutta High Court when he was a lawyer. The charges included that he diverted some money from the receiver’s account to his personal investment in a private company, which went bust.
Even after his elevation as a Judge in 2003, he did not disclose the full details to the court.
Although in his defence, he said that the money was paid back to the workers, the Judges Inquiry Committees as also several members in the Rajya Sabha, including noted lawyers, said it does not exonerate him of his guilt. 

Among those who participated in the debate were Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley, E M Sudarsana Natchiappan (Cong), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP), N K Singh (JD-U), D Raja (CPI) and noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani.
Replying to the debate, which started on August 17, Mr. Yechury said Justice Sen had given “false and misleading” statements to the House despite presence of authenticated documents.
He said the motions do not reflect on the integrity of the entire judiciary but they only strengthen the judiciary, which is “besmirched” by misconduct of one judge.
Mr. Yechury rejected Justice Sen’s contention that he had no money for himself and said even diversion of funds amounted to misappropriation under Section 403 of Indian Penal Code.
He alleged that Justice Sen was guilty of “omission and commission”.
Mr. Yechury noted that the motion reflected the “general mood” in the country against corruption and in the midst of all, Parliament has risen to the occasion to establish its supremacy that it can resolve such issues.
He also appreciated the “rich debate” that had taken place on the issue, during which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was mostly present.
Opposing the motions, Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) said the charges against Justice Sen have not been “proven” and there has been “no misappropriation” of funds by him and hence he should not be removed.
Continuing his speech which remained inconclusive on Wednesday, Mr. Jaitley said Justice Sen had “misled” the House about his case by hiding the “truth“.
Inquiries by committees set up by the Chief Justice of India and the Rajya Chairman have brought to light the fact that there were series of withdrawals from bank accounts through cheques and cash by Justice Sen both as a lawyer and as a judge, the BJP leader said.
It was a “fit case” for removal of the judge and that the House should recommend so to the President, he said.
At the same time, he expressed concern over questions being raised over conduct of some judges and stressed the need for revisiting the process of appointment of judges and suggested setting up of a National Judicial Commission for the purpose. 

First judge to be impeached
Justice Sen could go down in history as the first judge to be removed if Lok Sabha gives its consent next week to the motion for his impeachment.
The first such case involved the impeachment motion in Lok Sabha of Justice V. Ramaswami of the Supreme Court in May 1993 which fell due to lack of numbers after Congress members abstained.
Incidentally, Union Minister Kapil Sibal who was then a senior advocate, had presented the case of Justice Ramaswami before the Lower House.
Justice P.D. Dinakaran, Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, against whom the Rajya Sabha Chairman had set up a judicial panel to enquire into allegations of corruption, had resigned on July 29, 2011 before an impeachment could be initiated against him.
Unlike Justice Ramaswami, Justice Sen presented his case personally backed by two lawyers.

State-Wise Population of Tribals

The State-wise population of Scheduled Tribes as per 2001 census is given below, however, the figures for Scheduled Tribes as per Census 2011 are not yet available:

                                                State wise population of Tribals as per 2001 Census.                 

Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Daman & Diu.


* There is no scheduled tribe population.