Assam Current Affairs - 2019
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Department of Science and Technology has decided to commission a study to assess the climate risks faced by States in India. This decision comes in the backdrop of completion of vulnerability study across 12 Himalayan States.
Vulnerability Study by the Himalayan States
The study was undertaken in the 12 Himalayan states viz. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. The vulnerability was measured on a scale 0-1 with 1 indicating the highest possible level of vulnerability. The study indicates that:
- Assam and Mizoram with a vulnerability score of 0.72 and 0.71 topped the vulnerability index.
- Sikkim with the score of 0.42 was relatively less vulnerable.
- The scores of other states are Jammu & Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45).
- Assam is highly vulnerable to climate change because of factors like low per capita income, deforestation, a large number of marginal farmers, least area under irrigation, lack of alternative sources of income and high rates of poverty.
- The report finds that low per capita income, low open forest area per 1,000 households and lack of irrigation coverage as the most important drivers of vulnerability in Himalayan states.
- Other indicators include the percentage of area under slope, yield variability of food grains, forest cover, irrigation cover and access to healthcare.
- In Arunachal Pradesh, the key factors are low female literacy and a high percentage of population above BPL.
- In Nagaland, the key issues are the loss of forest cover, steep slope and high yield variability.
The vulnerability score was calculated based on eight parameters such as percentage of area in districts under forests, yield variability of food grain, population density, female literacy rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below poverty line (BPL), average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), and the area under slope > 30%.
Tags: Arunachal Pradesh • Assam • Climate Vulnerability Index • Department of Science and Technology • Himachal Pradesh • Himalayan States • Jammu and Kashmir • Manipur • Meghalaya • MGNREGA • Mizoram • Nagaland • Sikkim • Tripura • Uttarakhand • West Bengal
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has stated before the Supreme Court that exclusion of names of persons from draft National Registry of Citizens (NRC) in Assam will not affect their voting rights in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls provided their names feature in the electoral rolls.
Petition before the Supreme Court
Petition filed by Gopal Seth and Susanta Sen, residents of Assam feared that people would lose their voting rights due to the ongoing exercise of National Registry of Citizens. The petition highlighted five categories of people:
- Persons whose names were deleted from the voter list which includes names of those appeared in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018.
- People whose names were not included in the complete draft NRC, but they subsequently filed claims for inclusion of their names in it.
- People who have been declared as foreigners by the foreigners’ tribunal as well as the Guwahati High Court. The order which has been stayed by the apex court.
- People who had already been declared foreigners by the foreigners’ tribunal and such declarations were set aside by the apex court.
- People whose names have not been included in the draft NRC, but other members of their families, including parents, have been included in the NRC and they have filed their claims for the inclusion of their names.
Allaying the fears the ECI has assured that exclusion of names of persons from draft NRC in Assam will not affect their voting rights in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and sought the dismissal of the petition.
The Supreme Court asked the ECI to provide data about the addition and deletion of names from voters’ list as revised in January for 2017, 2018 and 2019. The case for posted for further hearing on March 28.