MGNREGA 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
The highlights of the Interim Budget 2019 presented by the Finance Minister are listed below:
- 6,000 rupees yearly direct support to farmers through PM-KISAN Programme.
- Pension of 3,000 rupees for unorganised sector workers earning up to 15,000 rupees through a mega Pension Scheme – Pradhan Mantri Shram- Yogi Maandhan.
- Present Income Tax rates to continue and full tax rebate up to an income of 5 lakh rupees for individual taxpayers. Standard deduction raised to 50,000, a hike of 10,000 for salaried class.
- Simplification of Direct tax system and returns to be processed in 24 hours with immediate refunds.
- 90 per cent GST payers can file quarterly returns.
- Two per cent interest rebate for Small and Medium Enterprises to get an incremental loan of one crore rupees.
- Constituting group of Ministers to examine GST burden on home buyers.
- Digitalization of Customs for export and import transactions.
- Allocations towards Health care, MGNREGA, SC/ST welfare programmes, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Development of infrastructure in North-East has been increased substantially.
- Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for genetic upgradation of the cow.
- Separate Department of Fisheries.
- Electricity connection to all willing families by next month.
- Allocations to Defence budget crosses three lakh crore rupees for the first time.
- More than three lakh 38 thousand shell companies deregistered after demonetization.
- 10 point vision for 2030 to realize India’s social economic potential.
- India to be a 10 trillion dollars economy in 13 years.
- Government e-Marketplace – GeM to be extended to all Central Public Sector Enterprises.
- Container cargo movement to the North-East through Brahmaputra river.
- Allocation for infrastructure development in the North East increased by 21 per cent.
- AIIMS to be established in Haryana.
- Digital connectivity for more than one lakh more villages.
- National Centre on Artificial Intelligence Centre to be established.
- Tightening of Cinematograph Act to check piracy.
- Single window clearance for shooting films for Indian filmmakers.
- Indigenous development of semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express train
- The fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4 per cent of GDP.
The Budget was keenly watched as the country is heading for a general election in 2019.