09.03.19 (GPSC) Gujarat Daily Current Affairs

GUJARAT

  • Gujarat third in cases, second in no of deaths
  • Union health ministry data shows that Gujarat has reported the third highest number of cases in the country this year, while it is second in terms of deaths.
  • The union health ministry’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) statistics showed that as of February 24, Gujarat had reported 2,726 swine flu cases, to be ranked third after Rajasthan (3,964 cases) and Delhi (2,738 cases). UP ranked fourth with 905 cases, followed by Haryana with 815 cases.
  • However, Gujarat ranked second in terms of swine flu deaths. The data shows that Rajasthan had reported 137 deaths as of February 24, followed by Gujarat with 88. Madhya Pradesh was a distant third with 43 deaths, followed by Himachal Pradesh (32) and Punjab (31).
  • The data also shows that 14,803 cases have been reported in the country as of February 24, as against 14,992 last year. The number of deaths is 448 as compared with 1,103 last year.

INTERNATIONAL

  • OECD has reduced the world economic growth forecasts for 2019 to 3.3 percent
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has reduced the world economic growth forecasts for the year 2019.  OECD has cut its 2019 forecast for global economic growth to 3.3% for the current year, down from 3.5% it predicted earlier. 

  • The report notes that trade tensions and political uncertainty, including Brexit and erosion of business and consumer confidence are weighing on the world’s economy thereby contributing to the slowdown. The 19-nation eurozone was particularly hard to hit, with predicted growth dropping from 1.8% to 1% which was contributed to policy uncertainty including those over Brexit.
  • UNODC referred to India as a Key Hub for Illicit Drug Trade
  • United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has referred to India as a Key Hub for Illicit Drug Trade.

  • The study has found more than 1,000 drug listings from India published across 50 online crypto-market platforms. The report also states that in 2017 Indian authorities have dismantled two illicit Internet pharmacies, seizing close to 130,000 tablets containing psychotropic substances.

  • India, Australia, France and Turkey together accounted for 83% of global production of morphine-rich opiate raw materials in 2017.
  • UNODC was established in 1997. It is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. UNDOC came into with the merger of United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention

NATIONAL

  • MoEFCC amended rules to ban the import of solid plastic waste
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has amended the Hazardous and other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 to completely ban the import of solid plastic waste. 

  • The amendment notified by the MoEFCC fixes a loophole which previously allowed the import of plastic waste into India for processing. The ban on the import of plastics is in lines with the principles of sustainable development. To ensure the ban doesn’t adversely impact the ease of doing business, the amendment allows the reverse import of defective electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India, within a year of export.

  • India is exploring various options to discourage the use of single-use plastics and also is emphasizing recycling of the plastic waste to reduce the burden on the environment thereby providing benefits.
  • CCEA approves investment sanction for Kiru hydro project
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved the investment sanction for construction of Kiru Hydro Electric Project.
  • The project is located on river Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • It shall provide much-needed power in the northern grid and shall accelerate the process of development of remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is scheduled to be completed in a period of 4.5 years.
  • The CCEA also approved the investment for 1320 Mega Watt  Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant at Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Cabinet approved for new hydroelectric policy
  • The Union Cabinet approved a new hydroelectric policy aimed at boosting the sector, including according large hydro projects the status of renewable energy projects. 

  • According to the new policy, large hydro projects will also be designated as renewable energy projects. So far, only smaller projects of less than 25 MW in capacity were categorized as renewable energy. With the removal of this distinction, large hydro projects will be included as a separate category under the non-solar renewable purchase obligation policy. 

  • Under this policy, power purchasers will have to source a portion of electricity from large hydro projects. The new policy will increase the debt repayment period for hydro projects to 18 years from the current 12 years with the provision to introduce an escalating tariff of 2%.
  • Cabinet approved for the Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. The Centre for Disability Sports, Gwalior will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 170.99 crore, spread over a period of 5 years. The Centre of Disability Sports would be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. 

  • The centre would create an improved sports infrastructure to ensure effective participation of persons with disabilities in sports activities and also enable them to compete at national and international levels. It would aid in developing a sense of belonging in Divyangjan to facilitate their integration in society. A governing body consisting of not exceeding 12 members would be set up for overall superintendence and supervision of the Centre with representation for experts from National Level Sports Federations apart from experts in para games.
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