States Current Affairs for UPPSC and Other State PCS – 2017

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Kerala becomes 3rd Open Defecation Free state

Kerala became third Open Defecation Free state in the country after Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) (Gramin)..

The announcement in this regard was made by the Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer in New Delhi on the occasion foundation day of Kerala (1 November).

With this Kerala becomes first high density populated state in the country to achieve Open Defecation Free status. All 14 districts, 152 blocks, 940 Gram Panchayats and 2117 villages of the State have been declared free from open defecation.

Freedom from open defecation has been proven to lead to significant health benefits in terms of incidences of water-borne diseases, especially in children, and provide safety and dignity for all, especially women and senior citizens.

About Swachh Bharat Mission

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was launched in October 2014 to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation.
  • The mission aims to achieve Swachh Bharat or make India clean by 2019, as a fitting tribute to the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The SBM consists of two sub-missions Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), implemented in rural areas, and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), implemented in urban areas.
  • SBM-G seeks to eliminate open defecation in rural areas by 2019 through improving access to sanitation by ensuring the use of toilets, besides their construction.
  • It also seeks to generate awareness to motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices, and encourage the use of appropriate technologies for sanitation.

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Odisha Government launches Madhubabu Aain Sahayata Sibir Scheme

Odisha government has launched Madhubabu Aain Sahayata Sibir’ (MASS) scheme to provide legal assistance to deprived sections of the society at the grassroots level.

The scheme has been named after great Odia lawyer Madhu Babu, who is considered as the first lawyer of Odisha.

Key Features of Scheme

  • State government will provide free legal consultations to deprived sections of the society by setting up legal assistance cells in all 6,812 gram panchayats across the state.
  • Legal assistance will be given in shape of free legal aid in order to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen for economic and other reasons.
  • A practicing lawyer with minimum three years of experience would head the legal cells. The lawyer who will give legal assistance will receive Rs 500 per sitting as remuneration.
  • It will help people especially the women, senior citizens, children, SC, ST and socially and educationally backward to resolve long pending litigations.

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Andhra Pradesh, Telangana top Ease of Doing Business list

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have jointly topped the Ease of Doing Business Reforms Ranking 2015-16.

The ranking of the states was conducted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the World Bank.

How states were ranked?

  • States were ranked on their implementation of DIPP-proposed 340-point Business Reform Action Plan in period between July 2015 and June 2016.
  • They were rated based on their score in the per cent scale i.e. implementation rate regarding the 340 reform measures.
  • These 340 reform areas are broadly under six key categories: tax reforms, single-window systems, environment and labour reforms, construction permits, inspection reforms and commercial disputes and paper-less courts.
  • 32 States and UTs had submitted evidence of implementation of 7,124 reforms. These submissions were reviewed by the World Bank team and validated by the DIPP.

Key Highlights of the 2016 rankings

  • Top 10 states: Andhra Pradesh (Score 98.78%), Telangana (98.78%), Gujarat (98.21%), Chhattisgarh (97.32%), Madhya Pradesh (97.01%), Haryana (96.95%), Jharkhand (96.57%), Rajasthan (96.43%), Uttarakhand (96.13%) and Maharashtra (92.86).
  • The national implementation average of reforms stands at 48.93%, significantly higher than 2015 national average of 32. This demonstrates the great progress made by States in 2016.
  • Low-income States: Four of seven States with lowest income levels in India had found a place in top 10. All seven such lowest income levels states had an implementation rate of over 75%.
  • These low-income States included Chhattisgarh (97.32%, 4th rank), Madhya Pradesh (97.01%, 5th rank), Jharkhand (96.57%, 7th), Rajasthan (96.43% and 8th), Odisha (92.73%, 11th), Uttar Pradesh (84.52%, 14th), and Bihar (75.82%, 16th rank).
  • 12 states were ranked as leaders with 90-100% implementation record. 17 states and UTs, including Kerala, Goa and most north-eastern states, were ranked as laggards with 0-40% implementation record.

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