States Current Affairs for UPPSC and Other State PCS – 2017

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Andhra Pradesh Government launches water distribution monitoring portal

Andhra Pradesh Government has launched the ‘Smart Water Distribution Monitoring’ web interface. The monitoring portal is a part of ourvmc.org from where it can be accessed.

It was formally launched by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Using this portal people can check the status of drinking water in the water tanks nearby.

The portal has Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. This system helps in reduction of water wastage as well as ensures seamless supply to the households.

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India’s longest expressway inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh

India’s longest expressway connecting Agra and Lucknow was inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at Bangarmau in Unnao district of UP.

It has been built by the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) in a record time of 23 months.

Key Facts

  • The Agra-Lucknow Expressway is six-lane greenfield expressway having total length of 302-km. It has a design speed of up to 120 kms per hour.
  • It starts from Agra and passes through Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kannauj, Hardoi, Unnao, Kanpur to reach Lucknow.
  • It passes through four National Highways, two state highways and five rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Sai, Isan, and Kalyani.
  • The expressway will help cut down the time between Agra and Lucknow to just 3.5 hours, from the current 7 hours.
  • Moreover, it is expected to reduce the road travel time between Delhi and Lucknow to anywhere between 5 to 6 hours.
  • The expressway has 2 km dedicated stretch built for fighter jets to land and take-off in times of “war-like emergencies”. The six-lane expressway also can be expanded to 8-lane
  • It also has State-of-the-art Advance Traffic management System for safe & secure transit and reducing road accidents and helping even at the time of fog.
  • The entire Expressway is lined with metal beam crash barrier on both sides and wire fencing for safe & secure transit.

Note

During the inauguration ceremony, six fighter jets (Three Mirage 2000s and three Sukhois) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) touched down on a stretch of the expressway in simulated landings. This was the first time that IAF fighterjets took part in the inauguration of an expressway as part of Union Government’s plan to increasingly use highways as landing and take-off strips. In May 2015 an IAF Mirage 2000 had landed on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh making it India’s first road runway.

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Supreme Court refuses to lift ban on Jallikattu

The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea filed by Tamil Nadu to review a 2014 apex court judgment banning Jallikattu.

The apex court questioned the need to “tame” a domestic animal like the bull and further held that Jallikattu has nothing to do with exercise of the fundamental right of religious freedom.

It also held that Jallikattu runs counter to the concept of welfare of the animal, which is the basic foundation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Tamil Nadu Government’s argument

However, the State government countered that Jallikattu was defined as an act of “taming” of bulls under the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009 and it does not amount to cruelty.  This law was introduced to stop any kind of torture and taming a bull is not torture.

What is issue?

The Supreme Court had banned Jallikattu in May 2014 and held that bulls could not be used as performing animals. It ordered to completely stop use of bulls for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races across the country. The ban was imposed by SC as it violated provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; fundamental duty Article 51A (g): compassion towards animal; Article 21 (Right to Life), which prohibits any disturbance to the environment, including animals as it is considered essential for human life. However, in January 2016, the Union Government through notification lifted this ban and allowed use of bulls for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. But, the apex court put on hold of the Union Government’s notification.

What is Jallikattu?

Jallikattu is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu on Mattu Pongal day as a part of Pongal celebrations i.e. harvest festival. It is one of the oldest living ancient tradition practiced in the modern era. Jallikattu has been derived from the words ‘calli’ (coins) and ‘kattu’ (tie), which means a bundle of coins is tied to the bull’s horns. In Sangam literature the sport is called as ‘Yeru thazhuvuthal’ (means to embrace bulls). In older times Jallikattu was popular amongst warriors during the Tamil classical period. The bull tamer sought to remove this bundle from the animal’s head to win gold or silver coins to be called ‘brave’ and ‘valourous’. All castes participate in the event and majority of jallikattu bulls belong to the pulikulam breed of cattle.

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