The Hindu+PIB Current Affairs 01 May 2019

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Advance release of funds from SDRF to State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal

Based on the decision of National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered for the advance release of financial assistance of Rs. 1086 crore to 4 States (i.e. Rs. 200.25 cr – for Andhra Pradesh + Rs. 340.875 cr – for Odisha + Rs. 309.375 cr – for Tamil Nadu + Rs. 235.50 cr – for West Bengal), to their State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to assist them in undertaking preventive and relief measures in response to cyclonic storm ‘FANI’.

About State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF):

  • The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), constituted under Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, is the primary fund available with State Governments for responses to notified disasters.
  • The Central Government contributes 75% of SDRF allocation for general category States/UTs and 90% for special category States/UTs (NE States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir).
  • The annual Central contribution is released in two equal installments as per the recommendation of the Finance Commission.
  • SDRF shall be used only for meeting the expenditure for providing immediate relief to the victims.
  • Disaster (s) covered under SDRF: Cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloudburst, pest attack, frost and cold waves.
  • Local Disaster: A State Government may use up to 10 percent of the funds available under the SDRF for providing immediate relief to the victims of natural disasters that they consider to be ‘disasters’ within the local context in the State and which are not included in the notified list of disasters of the Ministry of Home Affairs subject to the condition that the State Government has listed the State specific natural disasters and notified clear and transparent norms and guidelinesfor such disasters with the approval of the State Authority, i.e., the State Executive Authority (SEC).

Sources:PIB

India’s ASAT test a response to growing space threats: France

French Envoy in India Alexandre Ziegler has supported India’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test as a response to these growing threats. Stating that defense and offensive space technologies are being developed with various aims of spying, gaining control, deactivating service and destroying.

About Mission Shakti:

Mission Shakti is a joint programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

As part of the mission, an anti-satellite (A-SAT) weapon was launched and targeted an Indian satellite which had been decommissioned. Mission Shakti was carried out from DRDO’s testing range in Odisha’s Balasore.

Key Facts:

  • On March 27, India shot down a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) of 300 km using a modified interceptor of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system.
  • India and France, which have been cooperating in the area of space for several decades, had announced the setting up of a constellation of satellites for maritime surveillance of the Indian Ocean.
  • India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialized and modern capability, and Entire effort is indigenous. Till now, only the US, Russia and China had the capability to hit a live target in space.

Source:The Hindu

Article 239A allows greater powers for Puducherry House

Madras High Court has ruled that the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Puducherry cannot interfere in the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory when there is an elected government. The court said incessant interference from the L-G would amount to running a “parallel government.”

Key observations made by the court:

  • The Central government as well as the Administrator [the term used in the Constitution to refer to the L-G] should be true to the concept of democratic principles. Otherwise, the constitutional scheme of the country of being democratic and republic would be defeated.”
  • The judge made it clear that government secretaries were bound to take instructions from the Ministers and the Council of Ministers, headed by the Chief Minister.
  • High Court pointed out the significant differences in the powers conferred on the legislatures of Puducherry and Delhi under Articles 239A and 239AA of the Constitution.
  •  Justice Mahadevan said though Article 239AA imposes several restrictions on the legislature of Delhi, no such restrictions had been imposed explicitly in the case of Puducherry under Article 239A.

Article 239A

  • Constitution (Fourteenth Amendment) Act, 1962 added Article 239A to the Indian Constitution which provides that Parliament may by law create Legislature having Council of Ministers for the UT of Puducherry.
  • Accordingly, Parliament enacted the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.
  • Section 44 of the Act – Council of Minister – There shall be a Council of Ministers in each Union territory with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Administrator in the exercise of his functions who shall act in his/her discretion only in so far as any special responsibilities were concerned.

Source: The Hindu

Tourist footfall in Hampi down by nearly a lakh

Footfall in Hampi would increase, especially after a group of monuments at the world heritage site was listed number two on the “must see” tourist spots by The New York Times, tourist flow has dipped by nearly a lakh between April 2018 and March 2019.

About Hampi:

Hampi, the 14th century capital of one of the greatest empires of medieval India called the Vijayanagar Empire, lies in the Deccan heartland, in the state of Karnataka. It lies along the Tungabhadra river.

Key Facts:

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Mini Circle Hampi pertain to tourists visiting ticketed monuments — Vijaya Vittala temple, which houses the stone chariots and musical pillars and is considered as “architectural marvel of human genius”, the Lotus Mahal and the museum.
  • For children aged below 15 visits to these monuments is free. If schoolchildren coming to Hampi on excursion is taken into consideration, the footfall would be almost double.
  • The tourist season is mostly from September to March, the inflow of foreign tourist is above 500 in the hot months of April, May, June, and July. It gradually increases from August. The number is usually the highest from October to February.

Sources: The Hindu

Index of Eight Core Industries

The growth in the eight core industries has increased to 5-month high in March 2019. This is attributedto recovery in sectors such as cement, refinery products, steel, and coal.

About Index of Eight Core Industries

  • In India, there are eight core sectors comprising of coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement, and electricity.
  • The eight core industries constitute 40.27% of the total index of industrial production (IIP).
  • This index is prepared by Office of the Economic Advisor, Ministry of Commerce of and Industry and is published monthly with the base year as 2011-12.
  • Highest Weight: Petroleum Refinery production.  Lowest Weight: Fertilizers production.

Sources:The Hindu

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