NTPC has filed a plea seeking continuation of work on its Lata Tapovan Hydro Power Project in Uttarakhand that was put on hold following the Supreme Court’s May 7 order. The apex court has issued notice to the government in this regard.
The court had ordered a halt to 24 projects that were proposed within 100 km of eco-sensitive zone from Gangotri. It had also directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Uttarakhand government not to grant any environmental or forest approvals for any hydroelectric project in the hill state.
The court had asked the MoEF to form an expert panel to carry out a detailed study whether hydroelectric power projects both existing and under construction have contributed to the environmental degradation in Uttarakhand, if so, to what extent. The expert committee was also directed to examine whether these projects had contributed to the natural disaster that had hit the state in June 2013.
As per the plea submitted by the NTPC, the expert panel constituted by the ministry deviates from the directions issued by the court, which had said it would have the representatives of the Uttarakhand government, Wildlife Institute of India, Central Electricity Authority, Central Water Commission and other expert bodies to undertake the detailed study as directed by it.
NTPC also said that due to delay it is losing time and the costs of the projects are also escalating.
Pension Scheme for Farmers: Under this scheme for farmers, all those farmers doing farming on 2 hectare piece of land will get a monthly pension of Rs 800.
Air-lift of Doctors Scheme: Under this scheme, doctors and pharmacists along with medicines will be air-lifted to remote villages, where they will attend to patients for a month and then will be replaced by another group of doctors.
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.
The Punjab Cabinet approved the Backward Class (BC) status for the Jat and Jat Sikhs of the State. Now, Jats and Jat Sikhs are the 69th and 70th community to be included in the category.
As per the Punjab Cabinet decision
- Quota benefit will also be extended to economically weaker persons from the general category.
- These reservations would be in addition to the quota already in place and would not affect the existing quota sections.
- A commission will be set up to work out modalities for the implementation of the Cabinet decision.
- The grant of BC status to the Jats and Jat Sikhs will enable them to get reservation in government jobs.
Note: Recently, the Union Cabinet decided to extend OBC status to Jats of Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Delhi. Though, Jats and Jat Sikhs of Punjab had been left out of the Union Cabinet’s decision because the Punjab government had failed to bring the community in the State BC list.