Food Security Bill sees light of the day

News this week - Lok Sabha passes the Food Security Bill, floods engulf Gujarat and India bans shark finning.
Affordable food for all (Source: Google Images) Affordable food for all (Source: Google Images)

POLICY MATTERS

Food security bill passed

Food security bill, a game changer for the Congress in the 2014 general elections, was passed by the Lok Sabha this week. Targetted to benefit 82 crore people, the food security programme will be the largest in the world. 62 million tonnes of food grain will be disbursed under the bill at a cost of Rs 1,30,000 crore to the state exchequer. The bill will guarantee 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at a fixed price of Rs 3, 2 and 1 respectively.

Revoke ban on mining in Goa: government to ask SC

The ministry of mines is going to ask the Supreme Court to relax the ban on iron ore mining in Goa. The decision has come after the fall in the value of the Rupee and reduced inflow of money from the export of iron ore. In 2011, the SC imposed a ban on iron ore mining in Karnataka and Goa following complaints of illegal mining. Since then, the country's mineral output has come down from 208 million tonnes in 2010-11 to 140 million tonnes in 2012-13.

In Karnataka, millets to be sold at Rs 1 per kilogram

Under its new scheme "Anna Bhagya", the Karnataka government will distribute 30 kg of millets like ragi and jowar apart from wheat at a cost of Rs 1 per kg instead of rice. The scheme will be implemented from October 2 in the northern and southern regions of the state where millets is the staple food.

Uttarakhand to go solar now

Criticized enough for its hydropower experiment, the Uttarakhand government now plans to go solar by providing a subsidy of 30% on the benchmark cost of a solar power plant. The government is aiming to produce 2,500 Kw of solar power from the new scheme this year.

India bans shark finning

India has banned catching sharks for their fins. Shark fins are exported to China where it is considered a delicacy. As per a notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, fishermen found with parts of the endangered species will be subjected to 7 years' imprisonment.

No construction near rivers in Uttarakhand: HC

The Uttarakhand High Court has banned all construction activity with immediate effect within 200 metres of rivers in the state. The ban applies to the Ganga and all its tributaries. Earlier, religious organisations were allowed to construct dharmshalas and ashrams within 200 metres of the Ganga.

NEWS ROUNDUP

Flood in Bihar affects 220 villages

Flood in the Ganga and Sone rivers have impacted a population of 4.36 lakh in 220 villages of the Bhojpur district. People in these villages had no electricity for a month in addition to losing standing crop and fodder for animals. Day to day life has been majorly affected with the villages cut-off from district headquarters, schools shut and people forced to live in open areas on highlands.

Narmada river engulfs Bharuch in Gujarat

9000 people were rescued from the Bharuch district near the Sardar Sarovar dam site. 100 villages have been put on high alert as low-lying areas in the district were submerged under 10 feet of water. At 130 metres, the Narmada river flowed 10 metres above the height of Sardar Sarovar dam last week.

Tamil Nadu leads the way in groundwater decline

A survey of 10,121 groundwater monitoring wells in the country by the Central Groundwater Board reveals that 76% of the wells in Tamil Nadu have suffered a decline in water level, followed by Punjab, Kerala and West Bengal respectively.

Bangalore citizens revive lake

Braving the rain in Bangalore last Sunday, about 100 people came together to clean the Alahalli lake. The group, including students and residents, decided to take the step when municipal officials responsible for the area, washed their hands off by claiming that the lake does not fall in their jurisdiction. The volunteers plan to meet every Sunday till the lake is completely cleared of plastic and weeds.

This is a roundup of important news from August 26-September 1.

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