West Bengal Current Affairs - 2019

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Climate Vulnerability Index for India

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%.

Month: Categories: EnvironmentUPSC

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Centre allows State Governments to put Enemy Properties to Public Use

The central government has allowed the state governments to put enemy properties into public use. The central government has amended the guidelines for disposal of the Enemy Property Order, 2018,  to facilitate usages of enemy property by the state government exclusively for public use.

Enemy Properties

  • Enemy properties are the properties of the people who migrated to Pakistan during partition and also to China after the Sino-India war in 1962.
  • It is estimated that there are 9,280 such properties which were left behind by people who went to Pakistan and 126 such properties were left by the Chinese nationals.
  • Of the total properties left behind by those migrated to Pakistan, about 4,991 are located in Uttar Pradesh, the highest in the country and West Bengal has 2,735 such estates and Delhi 487.
  • Of the total properties left by those left to China about 57 properties are located in Meghalaya, highest in the country. West Bengal has 29 such properties and Assam seven.
  • The estimated value of all enemy properties is approximately Rs 1 lakh crore.

The government had enacted the Enemy Property Act in 1968. This act was further amended through the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2017. As the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2017 Successors of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during partition will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.

Month: Categories: Bills & ActsUPSC

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