Punjab [PPSC] Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

Punjab creates land banks to boost industrial production

The Punjab cabinet on December 2, 2019, approved the amendment of Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) rules, 1964. It aims at creating land banks in rural areas to boost industrial development in the state.

Highlights of the amendment

The amendment has included Rule 12-B that provides special provision to transfer shamlat land or common land to the development of industrial projects. According to GoI, Shamlat land is the land that does not come under cultivation and habitation. It is the consolidated land holdings that are held by the state governments for common use.

Under the amendment, the Gram Panchayat can transfer the shamlat land to the industries with prior approval from the state government. Land Banks are to be set up under Gram Panchayat to implement this amendment.

In order to achieve this, as an initial step, 1,000 acres of Panchayat land have been identified and integrated across five different villages. It will be used to develop a Global Manufacturing and Knowledge Park at Rajpura in Patiala District. The park is a part of the Amristar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor project.

The rule allows the transfer of land to industry department or state-owned Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC).

Significance

The amendment will help in fastening the development of core and infrastructure projects. It will also bring in long-term industrial benefits. Along with land banks, amendments were also made to factories act, industrial disputes act and contract labor act. These amendments aim at promoting ease of doing business.

ICAR report on Stubble Burning

On 4th November, 2019, the ICAR’s Creams Laboratory bulletin stated that there has been reduction of 12% in incidents of Stubble Burning as compared to the same period in 2018.

Highlights of the report

  • There were 31,402 burning events in the three states Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana as on October 1, 2019
  • The state wise reduction in stubble burning as compared to 2018 is as follows
    • Uttar Pradesh-48.2%
    • Haryana-11.7%
    • Punjab-8.7%
  • The report says that the reduction is mainly due to the launch of Central Scheme “Promotional of Agricultural Mechanization of In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in Punjab, UP and Haryana and NCT of Delhi”. The main purpose of the scheme is to subsidize machinery required.

Delhi

New Delhi is worst affected due to stubble burning in the three states. This year (2019) the Air quality Index of Delhi reached 999. This is the highest recorded AQI of Delhi in its history. According to WHO norms the AQI should be under 100.

Also, the PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter) concentration was more than 80% as against 50% of the normal course.

Western Disturbances

The Stubble burning smoke reaching Delhi is greatly influenced by the Western Disturbances. When these Cyclonic circulation are strong and persistent the smoke deposited in the city decreases.

The disturbances are capable of carrying the smoke far and spread them wide when they are strong. The weakening of these disturbances lately due to global warming is also one of the reasons for the increased stubble smoke in Delhi.