1) RBI announced a cash assistance of Rs 50 thousand crores for mutual funds
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a special liquidity facility of 50 thousand crores for Mutual Funds. Its objective is to reduce volatility in the capital markets and liquidity pressure on the mutual fund industry due to ‘Kovid-19’. This loan facility of RBI will be applicable from April 27 to May 11, 2020 or till the full amount is used, whichever is earlier.
Franklin Temple ton closes 6 date schemes in India
America’s mutual fund house ‘Franklin Templeton’ had closed 6 debt funds in India, due to which the fear of cash problems in mutual funds started to haunt people. In view of this, RBI announced this cash loan for mutual funds on April 27, so that there is no cash crisis in the industry.
2) NTPC plans to operate environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel-based buses
Public sector power company NTPC has called for a letter of interest globally to buy 10 electric buses and 10 cars powered by hydrogen fuel cell. The company plans to operate these buses and cars between Delhi and Leh. This initiative will be implemented in Delhi and Leh on a pilot project basis in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
What is a hydrogen fuel cell?
These buses have an environment friendly hydrogen fuel cell. In this, hydrogen is passed through a fuel cell. The hydrogen within the cell breaks down into electrons and protons. At the same time, the separated electron is sent into a circuit, which produces electric current and heat. This fuel helps reduce carbon emissions. For this, the company will arrange for the production and storage of hydrogen as well as distribution.
3) Former Pakistan women’s cricket team captain Sana Mir announces retirement
Former captain of Pakistan women’s cricket team Sana Mir announced his retirement from international cricket on 25 April. Sana is considered one of the finest off-spinners not only in Pakistan but also in women’s cricket in the world. Sana Mir represented his country in a total of 226 matches. She was captain in 137. He made his debut in 2005.
Sana played his first ODI against Sri Lanka in Karachi in December 2005. He took 151 wickets in 120 ODIs. During this time his average was 24.27. He also played 89 T-20s. He took 106 wickets. He played his last ODI against Bangladesh in Lahore in November 2019.
4) Ataline Hydroelectric Project and Environmental Issues
The proposed 3097 MW Ataline Hydroelectric Project in Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh has led to contradiction in various aspects due to the impact on biodiversity due to the harvesting of around 270,000 trees.
The Atláin hydroelectric project is proposed on the Dibang River. The time period for its completion has been fixed at 7 years.
There are 680 species of birds in this region, which is about 56% of the total avian species found in India.
Under the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, whenever forest land is used for non-forestry purposes like mining or infrastructure development, non-forest land or degraded land equivalent to that land in return Compensatory Afforestation has to be done on land equal to double of.
The proposed project is yet to be approved by the Forest Advisory Committee-FAC of the Ministry of Environment.
According to the FAC, compensatory afforestation will be done on 1074.329 hectares of land at a cost of Rs 19.6 crore.
(Forest Advisory Committee-FAC):
The Forest Advisory Committee decides on the permission to cut trees in forests for industrial activities.
The FAC is functioning under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change-MOEF & CC), which consists of independent experts and officers from the Center’s Forestry Department.
Compensatory afforestation refers to the replacement of cut forests for modernization and development. That is, alternative lands are acquired by industries to compensate for the loss of forests.
Opinion of environmentalist and local residents:
According to local residents, the two dams in the Dibang area, along with the proposed ‘Dibang Multipurpose Project’ and the ‘Atlin Hydroelectric Project’, will simultaneously submerge a much larger area.
Environmentalists and local residents are of the opinion that due to the project, the deformed ecology cannot be brought to the status quo with the help of artificial plantation.
The people of Idu Mishmi Community are concerned about the damage done to the pasture land, forests and wildlife.
People from other parts of Dibang Valley were neither consulted nor allowed to speak about ecological damage in public hearings.
5) Ban on death penalty for minors
Recently Saudi Arabia has abolished the provision of capital punishment for offenses committed by minors, noting that the punishment of whipping or whipping was banned in Saudi Arabia earlier.
The abolition of capital punishment for minors is the latest step in a series of human rights reforms undertaken by Saudi Arabia’s royal family.
The announcement has been made by the Nation-backed Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia. According to the commission, the latest reforms will ensure that anyone who commits a crime as a minor is not sentenced to death.
In place of death penalty, that minor criminal will be sent to Juvenile Detention Facility for a maximum period of 10 years.
Human rights organization Amnesty International has listed Saudi Arabia as the world’s most brutal country to die of people after Iran and China.
In its latest report, Amnesty International said that in the year 2019 in Saudi Arabia, about 184 people were sentenced to death.
China (1000 deaths) among the top countries to pay the death penalty in 2019; Iran (251 deaths); Saudi Arabia (184 deaths); Iraq (100 deaths) and Egypt (32 deaths).
Among those sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia, more were arrested for drug and murder.
Amnesty International, in its report, expressed concern over the increasing use of the death penalty as a political weapon against minority Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia.
According to Amnesty International’s report, 23 people were massacred in Saudi Arabia on April 23, 2019, of which 32 were Shia men who were arrested on charges of ‘terrorism’.
6) Establishment of crèches at Kendujhar and Anuppur
According to the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) report, crèches (baby houses) have been opened for children in two major mining districts of India under the District Mineral Foundation-DMF fund.
It is noteworthy that crèches (baby houses) have been opened in Kendujhar (Odisha) and Anuppur (Madhya Pradesh) districts with the participation of local people and non-profit organization to end malnutrition.
This initiative is different from the Integrated Child Development Services program.
It is important that the first three years of children’s life are very important for long-term health. Therefore, the purpose of this crèche is to meet the nutritional needs of 0–3 year olds.
Kendujhar was the first district in India to invest in crèche through DMF.
In the year 2018, Kendujhar district signed a memorandum of understanding with Ekjut to set up a creche.
Unite is an organization working in the tribal areas of Jharkhand and Odisha in relation to child nutrition.
It is known that Kendujhar district is the largest producer of iron ore in the country and the largest recipient of funds under the District Mineral Foundation. About 45% of the tribals live in this district.
Nutrition in children of Kendujhar district is much lower than the standard level. About 44% of children under the age of five are stunted and underweight.
According to the Annual Health Survey -2012, the death rate of children under five is 70 (per 1000 children).
Considering areas like mining affected Banspal and Harichandanpur, the number of 30 crèches (shishu griha) already operating has now been doubled. The annual expenditure for the operation of 60 crèches is approximately 2.5 crores.
Anuppur district has about 40% underweight and 33% stunted children.
The Phulwaris crèche has been established under an agreement with the Jan Swasthya Sahyog-JSS, to address the health and nutritional problems of children in the age group of 0-3 years. It has been launched in tribal dominated areas under a pilot project. At present, 56 phulwaris are being operated. The operating expenses of Phulwari (Annual Estimated Expenditure of Rs. 1 Lakh) will be under DMF Fund. Salaries of supervisors and project coordinators will be paid under the National Health Mission (NHM).
Village women will be appointed to take care of the children.