10-11.03.19 (GPSC) Gujarat Daily Current Affairs

GUJARAT

  • Cloud over SKY: Gujarat scales down pilot solar project
  •  Gujarat government’s ambitious plans to roll out a state-wide scheme where farmers can generate electricity using solar and sell surplus power to the electric grid, is facing challenges. The government has decided to scale down the pilot project of Suryashakti Kishan Yojana (SKY), which was announced in June last year. Under the scheme, farmers, besides producing electricity for farm and irrigation purposes, can also sell surplus power to the state-owned power companies at Rs 7 perunit for a period of seven years.
  • The government had announced to launch the pilot project with the aim to cover 12,400 farmers in 33 districts by setting up 137 feeders. However, the plan has been scaled down and the pilot is being implemented in 50 feeders covering less than 2,000 farmers.
  • Under the scheme, a farmer spends 5% of total expenditure for installing the solar power project which includes solar panels and inverters. Central and state governments are to pay 30 % each as subsidy. Remaining 35% will be in the form of interest-free loans to farmers.
  • One of the challenges faced by the government is to convince farmers to give up cheap subsidized electricity to enrol for SKY. Currently, a farmer gets subsidized power for 50 paise per unit.
  • Currently the average feeder losses in agricultural pumps is about 25-30% in the state. In case of SKY scheme, such losses have been benchmarked at 5%, which experts say, is unrealistically low.
  • Gujarat government is looking to modify the SKY scheme by replicating the Mukhyamantri Saur Krushi Pump Yojana rolled out by Maharashtra government earlier this year. Under the high voltage distribution scheme, farmers can install their solar panels adjacent to a huge land parcel earmarked by the government which is close to a sub-station, reducing the feeder loss.

INTERNATIONAL

  • Oceania Nations including Australia will participate in 2022 Asian Games
  • Oceania nations, including sporting powerhouse Australia, have been invited to compete in Olympic team events such as football and basketball at the 2022 Asian Games for the first time.

  • The invitation to the 2022 Asian Games in China’s Hangzhou is limited to volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball and football and fencing, ruling out sports such as swimming and track cycling which Australia would be expected to dominate.

  • Oceania – Australia, New Zealand and a swathe of Pacific islands – has not taken part in the regional Olympics before, but sporting ties with Asia have been growing.
  • Arata Isozaki won Pritzker Architecture Prize
  • Arata Isozaki, a prominent Japanese architect renowned for his versatility and transnational approach to design, has won his field’s highest accolade, the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

  • He is the 46th person and eighth Japanese architect to receive the Pritzker Prize.
  • HIV remission achieved via stem cell transplantation
  • In a significant development, a person with HIV infection has been reported to be experiencing remission for the last 18 months after antiretroviral therapy (ART) was stopped following stem-cell transplantation in London. Remission is when HIV RNA (ribonucleic acid) is undetectable in blood. ART is used for treating HIV. 

  • The person with HIV was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer, in 2012. To treat cancer, stem cells which give rise to blood cells were transplanted from a donor who had two mutant copies of a co-receptor for HIV infection. This exercise was carried out in London.  The co-receptor (CCR5) is used by the HIV virus to gain entry into host cells in humans. But a mutant does not allow the virus to enter the host cells and hence makes the person resistant to HIV infection.

NATIONAL

  • India, ASEAN clock fastest growth for e-commerce, digital trade sectors: FICCI KPMG
  • According to India and ASEAN: Co-creating the Future’ report by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and consulting major KPMG, India and 10 member ASEAN are among the fastest growing economies in the world.

  • India and ASEAN show a faster growth rate even for e-commerce and digital trade sectors. 

  • Global E-commerce Sector topped by China.

  • Global e-commerce sales are expected to reach 4.5 trillion dollars from 1.3 trillion dollars by 2021.

  • By 2025,the e-commerce market in India is expected to reach a volume of 90 billion dollars as per the report.
  • Lok Sabha 2019 elections will start from 11th April
  • Election Commission of India announced that the Lok Sabha 2019 elections will start from April 11, in seven phases. Code of Conduct for parties kicks in from 10th March and there are close to 90 crore eligible voters. Date of counting will be on the 23rd of May 2019. 


  • The election in 22 States and Union Territories will be conducted in a single phase. Two-phase elections are in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Manipur, and Tripura, while Assam and Chhattisgarh will have three phases. Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Odisha will be covered in four phases, Jammu and Kashmir in five, and Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in seven phases. In Anantnag, the election will be held in three rounds.
  • Centre amended the Enemy Property Order
  • 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 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. 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 theEnemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2017. As per the amendment, the successors of the Enemy property will have no claim over the properties left behind in India.
  • Centre launched Pulse Polio Programme 2019 to eradicate Polio
  • The government has launched the Pulse Polio Programme 2019. Under the programme, polio drops would be administered to children less than five years of age. More than 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be administered polio drops. 

  • The pulse polio programme aims to protect children from the polio disease by conducting two nationwide mass polio vaccination campaigns and two to three sub-national campaigns each year. 

  • India was declared Polio-free country in the year 2014. India’s last reported cases of wild polio were in West Bengal and Gujarat on 13 January 2011.
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