- The Union Cabinet recently approved a new hydroelectricity policy that, among other things, included large hydro projects within the ambit of renewable energy. Prior to the policy, only small hydro projects of a capacity of less than 25 MW were treated as renewable energy. Large hydro projects were treated as a separate source of energy.
- A total of 1.2 lakh people in Assam will not be able to exercise their franchise in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as they have been marked as ‘D’ (doubtful) voters, a senior Election Commission official said. The system of ‘D’ (dubious or doubtful) voters was introduced in 1997 by the Election Commission of India, which prepared a list by incorporating names of those who could not provide evidence in favour of their Indian nationality. It does not exist anywhere else in the country. ‘D’ voters were not allowed to vote in the 2014 general elections too.
- Mizoram shares a 700 km long border with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
- West Nile disease in Kerala is an unknown viral infection that leads to neurological diseases. Birds are the natural hosts of the virus and vaccine is not available for it. Symptoms of the virus infection include cold, fever, fatigue and nausea. Culex mosquitoes spread the infection of the West Nile Fever.
- SPICE-2000 (or Smart Precise Impact and Cost Effective) is a smart bomb with a 60 km glide range that uses GPS/electro-optical guidance.
- The State-level ‘School Education Quality Index’ (SEQI), which seeks to make improvements in learning outcomes a focal point of governance. It gives scores to States based on their educational performance and puts this data out in the public domain. The SEQI uses three data sources, including the National Achievement Survey, to come out with 33 indicators to measure education outcomes, of which the largest weightage (48%) is given to learning outcomes. By having a two-fold ranking system — one which recognises well-performing States via an overall performance score, and a delta ranking that measures the level of improvement made by States from their base year — the NITI’s Aayog’s State ranking not only encourages competition among States but also rewards and motivates other States to consistently improve.
- The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census figures and has been in use since the 2009 parliamentary elections. According to a 2002 Constitutional Amendment, there will be no further delimitation of constituencies till the first census after 2026. The current allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha to the States is frozen on the basis of the 1971 census.
- The Indian Navy had launched a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operation in coordination with local officials to evacuate about 5,000 people stranded at Buzi near Port Beira in Mozambique. The African nation has been devastated by tropical cyclone Idai.
- Former Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose became the first Lokpal of the country with his appointment to the post along with eight members on Tuesday. The President has appointed Justice Ghose as Lokpal or anti-corruption watchdog ombudsman. Besides him, other judicial members are Justices Dilip B Bhosale, P.K. Mohanty, Abhilasha Kumari and A.K. Tripathi. The non-judicial members are Dinesh Kumar Jain, Archana Ramasundaram, Mahender Singh, and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam.
- In Nairobi, governments welcomed the Global Environment Outlook 6: Healthy Planet, Healthy People (GEO-6) report. GEO-6 argues that in a business-as-usual scenario, the world will exhaust its energy-related carbon budget in less than 20 years to keep the global temperature rise to well below 2°C; it will take even less time to exhaust the budget to keep the global temperature rise to below 1.5°C.
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