June 09, 2020 – DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS

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1# JNCASR signed MoU with Breathe to scale up technology to reduce CO2 to methanol and other useful chemicals

Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) signed an MoU with Breathe Applied Sciences, a company incubated at JNCASR for transfer of technology based on lab-scale research on reducing CO2 to methanol and other useful chemicals and fuels. 

Highlights:
♦ The MOU aims for a smooth translation of the research in the area of CO2 reduction to useful chemicals and fuels from the laboratory scale to pilot scale economically. 
♦ It will highlight the scientific contribution of a research institute translating to the industry to solve the problems associated with renewable energy and environmental pollution. 
♦ It will also help in developing an indigenous technology in line with government policy.
♦ The MoU is important as the conversion of CO2 to clean fuels such as methanol and other useful chemicals on the scale with cost-effectiveness is a needed measure to address sustainable development, environmental, and climate.


2# Centre allocates Rs.1,01,500 crore under MNREGs during FY 2020-2021

Government of India has allocated a provision of Rs.1,01,500 crore under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the current financial year 2020-2021. This is the highest ever provision of funds made by GoI under the programme.

Highlights:
♦ Centre already released a sum of Rs.31,493 crore in 2020-2021.
♦ This allocation is more than 50% of the budget estimate of the current Financial year 2020-21.
♦ Also, Centre has generated a total of 60.80 crore person days so far and work has been offered to 6.69 crore persons. 
♦ The average number of persons to whom the work is offered in May 2020 has been 2.51 crore per day, which is 73% higher than the work offered in May last year, which was 1.45 crore persons per day.
♦ A total of 10 lakh works have been completed so far during the current Financial Year 2020-2021. 
♦ Work will focus on areas related to water conservation and irrigation, plantation, horticulture, and Individual Beneficiary works for livelihood promotion
♦ A sustained focus will take up works related to water conservation and irrigation, plantation, horticulture, and Individual Beneficiary works for livelihood promotion.


3# Centre constitutes task force headed by Jaya Jaitly

Centre has constituted a task force to examine issues related to Infant Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Rate, Total Fertility Rate, Sex Ratio at Birth, Child Sex Ratio (CSR), and any other issue that pertains to health as well as nutrition. The task force has been set up by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The task force will be headed by Jaya Jaitly.

Highlights:
♦ The task force will review the correlation of age of marriage and motherhood along with health, medical well being, and nutritional status of mother and child, during pregnancy & birth. 
♦ It will suggest measures to promote higher education among women.
♦ The task force will also suggest suitable legislation and amendments in existing laws. 
♦ The committee has been asked to prepare a tailed roll-out plan with timelines to implement these recommendations.
♦ The task force will submit the analysis report by 31 July.


4# Karnataka to provide tap connections to all rural households under Jal Jeevan Mission by 2022-23

Centre approved Karnataka State government’s Annual Action Plan for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission. The state govt submitted the plan to the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The move comes as the Ministry of Jal Shakti is working with the States to prepare a roadmap to implement the Prime Minister’s flagship programme Jal Jeevan Mission. The mission aims to provide 55 litres of potable water per person per day to every rural household of the country by 2024.

Highlights:
♦ GoI has approved a fund of Rs.1,189.40 Crore for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Karnataka in 2020-21. This amount is a considerable increase from Rs.546.06 crore in 2019-20.  
♦ Karnataka state is planning to provide tap connections to 100% household coverage by 2022-23. 
♦ Out of 89 lakh rural households in Karnataka, 24.50 lakh households have been provided with Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs). 
♦ In the year 2019-20, only 22,127 tap connections were provided in the state. 
♦ Currently, the State is planning for 100% coverage of 1 district, 5 blocks, and 8,157 villages during 2020-21. 
♦ It aims to enable 23.57 lakh households with tap water connections by the year 2020-21. 
♦ Karnataka state will provide 23.57 lakh tap connections by way of retrofitting and augmentation of 3,139 existing piped water supply systems during 2020.
♦ Karnataka State will focus on universal coverage of quality-affected habitations, water-scarce areas, SC/ ST dominated villages, and villages under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.


5# MoRTH mandates distinct colour band for BS-IV vehicles

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has mandated a strip of green colour for BS-VI vehicles of any fuel type. Centre has previously mandate BS-VI emission standards with effect from 1 April 2020.

Highlights:
♦ Centre has mandated colour band for number plate sticker for BS-6 four-wheel vehicles.
♦ Green strip of 1cm thickness for BS-VI vehicles for the sticker of registration details being stuck on windshields of BS-VI four-wheeler vehicles.
♦ Until now, the petrol or Compressed natural gas (CNG) type vehicles had a light blue colour sticker and a diesel vehicle had an orange colour. 
♦ These stickers will now have a green strip of 1 cm on top for BS-VI, as mandated. 
♦ The BS-VI emission standards provided in the country for stricter and cleaner emission norms and are at par with the emission standards being followed across the world.

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