The Supreme Court declared illegal all coal block allocations between 1993 and 2010, saying these were done in an unfair, arbitrary and non-transparent manner without following any objective criteria. The court, however, said that further hearing was required to decide whether there is a need for cancelling around 200 coal block allocations.
The petitions were based on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report that the exchequer suffered a loss of Rs. 1.64 lakh crore due to the arbitrary allocations of coal blocks. The coal blocks allocated to private companies between 2004 to March 2010 are situated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
Ranchi’s key water reservoir Kanke Dam — that hitherto provided water to thousands of houses located around it has been receiving waste emanating from human activities concentrated around its periphery which has become a threat of extinction to the water body. The dam situated in the Kanke area of Ranchi is famous for its beautiful picnic spot besides a place that offers tranquility.
But the Dam has been an object of neglect for the State Government. The Dam which was built in 1954 has not been cleaned even once since it came into existence. Algal bloom has started in the dam and it is creating a lot of problem for the treatment plant. It affects quality of the water. Besides, the water body has reduced in area.
As per the second update of the Annual Health Survey (AHS), all major health indicators in the country’s worst-performing States are showing a gradual improvement over the years but inter-State variations persist.
About 2nd update of Annual Health Survey (AHS)
- Objective: To monitor the performance and outcome of various health interventions of the Government including those under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) at closer intervals through benchmark indicators
- In 284 districts of nine states survey was conducted.
- States: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Assam.
- These states account for about 48 % of the total population in the country.
Highlights of the Annual Health Survey (AHS)
(a)Crude Birth Rate (CBR) and Crude Death Rate (CDR):-
- Minimum CBR: Bageshwar (14.7) in Uttarakhand.
- Maximum CBR: Shrawasti (40.9) in Uttar Pradesh.
- CBR in rural areas of districts is higher than that in urban areas.
- Minimum CDR: Dhemaji (4.5) in Assam.
- Low female death rates have also been observed as compared to male death rates.
(b)Infant Mortality Rate (IMR):-
- Minimum IMR: Rudraprayag (19) in Uttarkhand.
- Maximum IMR: Shrawasti (103) in Uttar Pradesh.
- Districts achieved the MDG -4 National target of 28 by 2015: Purbi Singhbhum & Dhanbad (Jharkhand) and Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh & Almora (Uttarakhand).
- Four districts viz. Bokaro & Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Bageshwar & Nainital (Uttarakhand) are in closer vicinity to achieve the MDG-4 National target.
- IMR in rural areas of districts is significantly higher than that in urban areas.
(c)Neo-Natal Mortality Rate (NNMR):-
- Minimum NNMR: Rudraprayag (11), Uttarkhand.
- Maximum NNMR: Balangir (75) in Odisha.
- Rural NNMR in districts is significantly higher than the urban.
(d)Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR):-
- Minimum U5MR: Pithoragarh district (24), Uttarakhand.
- Maximun U5MR: Kandhmal district (145), Odisha.
- Districts achieved the MDG -4 National target of 42 by 2015: Pithoragarh, Almora, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Nainital & Bagheswar (Uttarakhand) and Purbi Singhbhum (Jharkhand).
- 10 districts viz. Dhanbad, Bokaro, Kodarma, Hazaribagh & Giridih (Jharkhand) and Kota (Rajasthan) and Champawat, Udham Singh Nagar, Dehradun & Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) are in closer vicinity to achieve the MDG-4 National target.
- Rural U5MR in districts is significantly higher than the urban.
(e) Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR):-
- Minimum MMR: Kumaon HQ (183) in Uttarakhand.
- Maximum MMR: Faizabad Mandal (451) in UP.
(f) Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB)
- Minimum SRB: Pithoragarh district (764), Uttarakhand.
- Maximum SRB: Moradabad district (1034), Uttar Pradesh.
- Crude Birth Rate (CBR) denotes live births per 1000 population and Crude Death Rate (CDR) denotes number of deaths per 1000 population.
- Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) denotes the number of infant deaths (age below one year) per 1000 live births.
- Neo-Natal Mortality Rate (NNMR) measures the number of infant deaths (age below 29 days) per 1,000 live births.
- Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) denotes the number of children who died before reaching their fifth birthday per 1,000 live births.
- Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) measures the proportion of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births.
- Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) defined as the number of female live births per 1,000 male live births.
Outcome of the survey: These indicators would provide requisite inputs for better planning of health programmes and pave the way for evidence based intervention strategies.
About M-Pesa service
- A mobile money transfer and payment service that allows customers to transfer money to any mobile phone, remit money to any bank account, make utility payments, recharge of mobile, DTH payment and earn interest on deposits.
- Empowers the un-banked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services through the mobile phone.
- This service will now be available across 202 Tehsils, 24 Districts through 1350 specially trained authorized agents including 73 Vodafone exclusive stores in Odisha.
Apart from Odisha, ‘M-Pesa’ has been rolled out in Delhi, Mumbai, West Bengal, Punjab, UP East, UP West, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Assam & North East and Haryana. It will be made available across the country in a phased manner.