Rajasthan Current Affairs Summary: October 2019

Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat 2019

Adhoc Bonus announced for State Government Employees

The state government announced to pay adhoc bonus on the festive occasion to approximately 6 lakh employees of the State. This Diwali bonus will be paid to all employees getting salaries at pay-matrix level L-12 and below expect the State Service (Gazetted) cadre officers.

Maximum bonus payable for the year 2018-19 will be Rs. 6,774. This bonus will also be given to Panchayat Samiti, Zila Parishad employees and work-charge employees as well. The payment of bonus would have an additional financial burden of Rs. 406 crores to the state exchequer.

Rajasthan may get fourth reserve for big cats

Rajasthan is poised to get its fourth tiger reserve with the forest department deliberating on upgrading the Ramgarh Vishdhari wildlife sanctuary. The total area of 1017 sqkm that has been identified as the reserve area comprising two forest blocks of Bhilwara, territorial forest block of Bundi and Indargarh, which falls under buffer zone of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR).  Currently Rajasthan has 3 reserves for big cats including:

  • Ranthambore NP
  • Sariska NP
  • Mukundura Hills (Darrah) NP

The state government has been advised to send proposal for declaring Ramgarh Vishdhari wildlife sanctuary by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The notification will be issued after NTCA gives its final approval.

Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary

  • In 1982, a part of the forest in Bundi was declared as Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary under Section 5 of the Rajasthan Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act, 1951.
  • The core area of the Ramgarh Vishdhari has eight villages. The sanctuary currently has lepoards, sambhars, chitals, wild boars, smaller cats, caracals, chinkaras and nilgai.

Raj bans unregulated ponzi schemes

Rajasthan has become the first state to implement the central government’s Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, 2019, providing a major relief to the account holders whose money has been trapped in ponzi schemes. The Act was passed in the Lok Sabha in July 2019 to plug gaps in the existing laws to counter illicit depositing activities.

The law is applicable with a retrospective effect. It has come as a ray of hope for thousands of depositors whose money is trapped in fraud credit societies like Navjeevan, Adarsh, Sanjivini and Arbuda Credit Cooperative Society, which were recently exposed by the state police. State has 1,159 registered societies and registration on new societies has been banned due to a rise in the cases of defaulter societies.

The Act empowers the competent authority to collect the real time data on the activities of the societies. The Act also empowers the competent authority to seize and attach properties and accounts of the defaulter societies. The state has written to the Chief Justice to open designated courts at all the divisional headquarters under the Act, which is one of the three conditions required to implement the Act.

Rajasthan has low consumption of Iodised Salt

A countrywide study “India Iodine Survey 2018-19” has been released recently that estimates the iodine status of the population and assess the extent to which households have access to adequately iodised salt. The findings show that the coverage of adequately iodised salt at the household level is 65.5% in Rajasthan against the national average of 76.3%.

Rajasthan is one of the three states with the lowest consumption of iodine. Tamil Nadu (61.9%) and Andhra Pradesh (63.9%) are the other two states behind Rajasthan.

Iodine is a vital micronutrient needed regularly in small quantities for optimal mental and physical development.

Unemployment Allowance extended to Transgenders

The state government has extended the unemployment allowance to transgenders who would now get Rs 3,500 per month as given to women under the scheme. The allowance would be provided under the Mukhyamantri Jan Sambal Yojana.

7 Rajasthan railway stations among India’s 10 cleanest

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently released the Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat 2019 survey or Cleanliness assessment of Non-suburban and Suburban Stations 2019 Survey Report. Thecleanliness survey is carried out by QCI – Quality Council of India. The council tool 720 Non – Suburban stations and Suburban Stations for the survey. Highlights of the report are:

  • 7 Railway Stations from Rajasthan made it to Top 10.
    • Rank 1 – Jaipur with a cleanliness score of 931.75 out of 1000.
    • Rank 2 – Jodhpur
    • Rank 3 – Durgapura, Jaipur
    • Rank 4 – Jammu Tawi
    • Rank 5 – Gandhinagar, Jaipur
    • Rank 6 – Suratgarh
    • Rank 7 – Vijayawada
    • Rank 8 – Udaipur
    • Rank 9 – Ajmer
    • Rank 10 – Haridwar
  • In the suburban group of stations, Maharashtra’s Andheri station has topped the list.
  • North Western Railway Zone followed by South East Central Railway Zone and East Central Railway Zone are the top three railway zones.

Recent steps taken by Railways to improve cleanliness:

  • Indian Railways has also banned single use plastic across its premises 2nd October 2019 onwards.
  • Installation of bio toilets in all passenger coaches.
  • Installation of plastic bottle crushing machines at 128 stations to handle plastic waste.
  • Outsourcing of cleanliness & deployment of mechanized cleaning equipment at major stations.
  • Improving flooring of platforms to enable mechanized cleaning
  • Providing separate dustbins for different types of wastes.
  • Employing CCTVs to monitor cleaning practices.
  • Development of a “Customer Complaint” Web Portal and Mobile Application to collect continuous Citizen Feedback.
  • Introducing Pay-and-Use toilets at various stations;(8) Enforcement of Indian Railways (Penalties for activities affecting cleanliness at railway premises) Rules, 2012.
  •  Information, education & communication to create awareness among people through cleanliness drives. These include drives against plastic waste, Swachhta hi-seva, swachhta pakhwara and special cleanliness drives held in first week of September 2019.

Swachh Rail, Swachh Bharat 2019 – Download PDF

Rajasthan bans certain categories of pan masala

On Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the Rajasthan government announced a ban on pan masala containing magnesium carbonate, nicotine, tobacco, mineral oil and flavoured betel nut. According to the order, production, storage and distribution of these products are prohibited in the state. All such products will now be banned in the State under the Food Safety Act. The state government had previously banned the distribution of ‘gutka’ in 2012. And earlier in 2019, the state government had banned hookah bars and e-cigarettes.

With this, Rajasthan has become the third State after Maharashtra and Bihar to announce such a move.

According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017, 13.2% of the population in Rajasthan consume tobacco in the form of cigarettes, with men accounting for 22% and women 3.7%. The figure for chewing tobacco is 14.1%, with men again at 22% and women 5.8%. Currently, there are 77,000 people in the state who suffer from diseases due to smoking or chewing tobacco.

The ban is the correct step to reduce patients who suffer from ailments due to consumption of such harmful products and the decision has been taken to prevent addiction amongst youngsters.

Raj Police Academy to be plastic-free

The Rajasthan Police Academy (RPA) has announced the ‘no plastic policy’ under which single-use plastic has been banned on its premises. Besides, the academy is also a tobacco-free area since 2008. Additional inspector general and director, RPA, Hemant Priyadarshi, said all employees, trainees, trainers and visitors were prohibited from using polythene bags, disposable plastic bottles, glasses, cups, plates, etc.

All-women canteen launched

Churu district collector Sandesh Nayak has launched an all-women canteen called “Kasturba Canteen”at the district collectorate.  In first-of-its kind canteen, from cooking to serving food, all work here is done by women.

Deficit Rainfall districts in 2019 in Rajasthan

Despite 42% excess rainfall in which floods were witnessed at many districts, four districts including

  • Sriganganagar,
  • Hanumangarh,
  • Karauli
  • Alwar

have received deficit rainfall.

Peace & non-violence cell launched

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot launched the peace and non-violence cell at the Rajasthan Khadi and Village Industries Board (which will also serve as its office) on October 2.

  • Retired IAS officer S S Bissa will be the cell’s coordinator.
  • There will be 5-6 members in the cell.
  • The posts that will be created shall be at the level of joint secretaries, deputy secretaries and assistant secretary/section officer.

The role of the cell will largely be of an advisory group to suggest the government about various activities to be undertaken and to give a roadmap for the formation of a department. The cell will also monitor and conduct the one-year long celebrations of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It will also work with school and college children and involve them in various activities related to Gandhi’s life, teachings and philosophy.

Gandhian Rajagopal PV, had suggested to Rajasthan CM that a non-violence department should be created by the Rajasthan government.

UNESCO ties with Rajasthan Governement

Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) joined hands with Rajasthan government to conserve and revive the dying traditions of music, art and craft forms, and other intangible cultural heritage of the western Rajasthan. The programme that seeks to create 10 art and craft hubs in Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer.

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