States Current Affairs for UPPSC and Other State PCS – 2017

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Odisha for first time achieves highest decline in IMR

For the first time in 16 years, Odisha has achieved highest decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). This decline is far better than the national average.

According to the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), Odisha’s IMR has come down by 29% between 2005 and 2015 which is highest trend in the country. It was 96 per 1000 births in 2000 has been reduced to 40 in 2015-16.

Key Facts
  • The IMR in the state has gone down by 25 points between NFHS 3 (2005-06) and NFHS 4 (2015-16), as against national average of 16.
  • According to NFHS-4, the Odisa’s IMR is better than six major States Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. In 2000, Odisha was only above Chhattisgarh in the national ranking.
  • Institutional delivery in Odisha was recorded at 85.4% in NFHS-4 as against the national average of 78.9%. Similarly, 78.6% children (aged 12 and 23 months) were fully immunised as against national average of 62%.
  • State also has achieved increase in institutional deliveries, family planning and antenatal care of mothers. It has as also registered significant decline in under-five mortality rate, anaemia and malnourishment.

Reasons for decline of IMR in Odisha

The impressive and sharp decline in IMR and overall improvement in different health indicators of the State in the last 16 years was achieved due to several initiatives of the government. It includes IMR Reduction Mission and Nabajyoti scheme launched in 2001, which had carried through initiatives to strengthen institutional deliveries, improve antenatal check-ups, immunisation and family planning coverage.  Besides, state’s MAMATA scheme, a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant women and lactating mothers also has made a significant contribution in ensuring safe deliveries and healthy infants.

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NGT fixes norms for camping along Ganga in Uttarakhand

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has prohibited all camping activity on beaches which fall within 100 meters along the River Ganga from Shivpuri to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand.

The 50 km stretch of River Ganga between Shivpuri to Rishikesh is a hub of eco-tourism and river rafting.

The judgment came on a petition which had highlighted pollution caused by unregulated camping in the river and its adjoining areas. It also highlighted pollution caused to the river and the soil due to leftovers of tourists.

Key Facts
  • NGT bench gave this ruling by relying on various studies conducted by the Uttarakhand government and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
  • It held that river rafting is one of the significant components of eco-tourism, but it needs to be encouraged but with a clear mandate so that it does not cause any environmental and biodiversity degradation
  • It clarified that the portion of the identified beaches which fall outside the restriction of 100 meters should only be used for effective camping activity.
  • The remaining part of the beach should not be permitted for any activity including tenting, toilets and other incidental requirements.
  • NGT held that the illegal and improper activities at the camping sites led to the pollution of River Ganga. I ordered implementation of management plan prepared by State government.
About National Green Tribunal

NGT is a special fast-track court to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It was established under National Green Tribunal (NGT) Act, 2010 enacted by the Parliament, under India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.

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Endangered Kurukh gets official language status in West Bengal

West Bengal Government has given official language status to endangered tribal language Kurukh, mother tongue belonging to the Dravidian family.

It was given this status by the state government last month and but was announced recently by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 

Key Facts
  • In West Bengal, it is spoken by Oraon tribal community who live in Dooars (alluvial floodplains in northeastern India that lie south of outer foothills of Himalayas and north of Brahmaputra River basin).
  • Most of the tribal languages in West Bengal have their origins in the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Barman families. But Kurukh is an exception which has its origin from the Dravidian family is Malto, which is not spoken in West Bengal, but in the Jharkhand’s Rajmahal hills area.
  • Santhali, Munda and Hoe languages spoken in state that belong to Austro-Asiastic family, while the languages spoken by the Tamang, Lepcha and Bhutia tribes of the Darjeeling hills are of the Tibeto-Burman group.

About Kurukh language

  • Kurukh language belongs to subfamily of Dravidian languages, spoken by some 17 lakh people (2001 census report) of the Oraon tribes of Chota Nagpur plateau of east-central India.
  • It is closely related to Kumarbhag Paharia and Sauria Paharia languages, which are together referred to as Malto. Its script is called Tolong Siki.
  • The language has been listed “vulnerable”state in UNESCO’s list of endangered languages.
  • Jharkhand has recognised Kurukh as a language and its script in 2003. It allows students can write their school final examination in its script.

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