Odisha

Parliament passes Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders Amendment Bill, 2015

Parliament has passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders Amendment Bill, 2015.

The bill was first passed in Rajya Sabha on February 24, 2015 and later in Lok Sabha on March 17, 2015. It was unanimously passed by a voice vote in both the houses.

The bill seeks to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in three states- Haryana, Karnataka, Odisha and one Union Territory- Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Key Amendments

The Bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Dadra and Nagar Haveli) Scheduled Castes Order, 1962.

The Bill adds the following communities to the list of Scheduled Castes:

  • Haryana: Kabirpanthi, Julaha.
  • Karnataka: Bhovi, od, odde, Vaddar, Waddar.
  • Odisha: Dhoba, Dhobi, Dom, Dombo, Duria Dom, Katia, Kela, Nalua Kela, Khadala and Turi.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli: Chamar.

Background

The bill was introduced in Parliament as per the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. Article 341 empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification. It also empowers the President to specify castes which will be deemed as Scheduled Castes through a notification.

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Mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles begins in Odisha

The mass nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles, an endangered species has begun at mouth of river Rushikulya in Ganjam district of Odisha. Over 10,000 female turtles have laid eggs on the first day, in the 3-km-long sandy beach from Gokharakuda to Podampeta.

Along with nesting sites at river Rushikulya mouth and Gahiramatha, the mouth of Devi River in Odisha is also famous for mass nesting.

The mass nesting season of Olive Ridley sea turtles is a unique phenomenon and each female turtle lays around 100-150 eggs. These eggs hatch after 45 to 50 days of the nesting. However, the mother turtles do not wait till hatching and baby turtles are left alone for their survival.

For the mass nesting, around 175 persons, including forest personnel, wildlife activists and nearby local villagers are engaged in protection of the Olive Ridley turtles and the eggs round the clock.

About Olive Ridley Turtles

  • Scientific name: Lepidochelys olivacea.
  • They are also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
  • Olive Ridley Turtles are generally found in warm and tropical waters, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
  • They are listed as vulnerable species in IUCN Red Data Book because of their few remaining nesting sites in the world.

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Union Government approves various highway projects worth Rs 8,600 crore

Union Government has approved various highway projects in states of Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh worth over Rs 8,600 crore. The work for these approved road projects will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-V.

This decision was taken by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Decisions taken by CCEA

  • Uttar Pradesh- Approved six-laning of the Handia-Varanasi section of National Highway. This project’s cost is estimated to be Rs 2378.59 crore and total length of the road will be approximately 72.4 kms.
  • Odisha- Approved six-laning of Baleshwar-Chandikhole section of National Highway. The project cost is estimated to be Rs 2296.82 crore and total length of the road will be approximately 137 kms.
  • Chhattisgarh- approved development of four to six laning of the Raipur-Bilaspur section of National Highway. The cost is estimated to be Rs 1,963.88 crore and total length of the road will be approximately 127 kms.

Other Decisions taken by CCEA

  • Approved the continuation of the incentive scheme for marketing and promotion services of raw sugar production during current sugar season of 2014-15. This approval has been given for quantity of 14 lakh Metric tonne.
  • CCEA also fixed uniform rate of 4000 rupees per metric tonne for this season. The decision will help sugar mills to clear the cane price dues of the farmers.

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