- Bihar posted highest rise in state GDP in 2017-18
- Bihar and Andhra Pradesh led the pack among States in terms of GDP growth in financial year 2017-18, clocking 11.3% and 11.2% growth, respectively, compared with the national GDP growth of 6.7% for the year, according to a report by Crisil.
Highlights of the Report
- According to the report, 12 of the 17 general category States grew faster than the national growth rate.
- The growth was not equitable, with the gap between the per capita incomes in low-income and high-income States widening over the last five years.
- In fiscal 2018, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat were top-rankers in terms of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth among the 17 non-special States considered in our analysis. Jharkhand, Kerala, and Punjab were at the bottom.
- The analysis found that between the financial years 2012-13 and 2016-17, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka were the fastest growing states, on average.
- Only Gujarat remained in the top three while all three managed to maintain their GSDP growth higher than the all-India GDP growth in 2018,
- Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka both saw their rankings slip to 9 and 4, respectively.
- West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar had ranked at the bottom in the past five years.
- In financial year 2017-18, however, Bihar rose to the top spot and West Bengal rose to the sixth rank, with a growth of 9.1%, significantly stronger than the national GDP growth rate.
- Jharkhand, however, remained at the bottom.
- In Gujarat and Karnataka, manufacturing was the main driver, while in Madhya Pradesh, agriculture and allied activities drove growth on average.
- Among the laggards, West Bengal was dragged down by mining, Jharkhand by electricity and other utilities.
- On the fiscal front most veered off the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) line of maintaining their fiscal deficits at 3% of their respective state GDPs.
- Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh topped the tally in proportion of capex in state spending in the past three years.
- But most states are not spending as they ought to, in areas such as health, irrigation, and education.
- The combined fiscal deficit of States crossed the 3% of GSDP threshold, in both fiscals 2016 and 2017. This improved in fiscal 2018 to 3.1%, but this was still higher than the FRBM limit, and also the 2.7% of GSDP budgeted for the year.
- Protest against proposed bird sanctuary in Manipur
In news: The Manipur government’s plan to set up a bird sanctuary at the Loktak Lake in Bishnupur district has met with stiff opposition from the villagers in nearby areas.
- Thousands of migratory birds flock to the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in north-eastern India, every year but in the past few years there has been a sharp decline in the number of migratory birds coming to the lake.
- The Brow-antlered deer which are endangered is also facing problem of poaching.
- Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it.
- The lake is located near Moirang in Manipur state, India.
- Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world on this Phumids.
- The park is the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai (state animal), Rucervus eldii eldii or Manipur brown-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), one of three subspecies of Eld’s deer.
- It was also listed under the Montreux Record on 16 June 1993, “a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur.
- 19 amphibian species are critically endangered: ZSI list
- Recently an updated list of Indian amphibians was released on the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in which 19 species being treated as critically endangered and 33 species as endangered.
- The list also notes if the species are in danger, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Zoological Survey of India
- The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), founded on 1 July 1916 by Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, as premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the country.
- ZSI (zoology) as well as ASI (archaeology), BSI (botany), FSI (forests), FiSI (fisheries), GSI (geology), IIEE (ecology), NIO (oceanography), RGCCI (Census of India) and SI (cartography) are key national survey organisations of India.
Exploring, Surveying, Inventorying and Monitoring of faunal diversity in various states, selected ecosystems and protected areas of India.
- Taxonomic studies of the faunal components collected.
- Status survey of Threatened and Endemic species.
- Preparation of Red Data Book, Fauna of India and Fauna of States.
- Preparation of database for the recorded species of the country.
- Publication of results including Fauna of India, Fauna of States and Fauna of Conservation Areas.
- GIS and Remote Sensing studies on recorded animal diversity as well as on threatened species.
- Chromosomal Mapping and DNA Barcoding.
- Development of ENVIS and CITES Centers.
- International Solar Alliance plans bank to fund energy access
- The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is going to propose a new bank exclusively for financing energy access to billions.
- The bank is still at the ideation stage.
- ISA has asked the Asian Development Bank to prepare a concept note.
- A public-private partnership is being thought of for the proposed, which will work for 1.2 billion people who lack access to energy as well as the 2.4 billion who lack access to clean energy.
- According to a recent World Bank report, 600 million people would continue to have no access to energy even in 2040.
- Existing banks do not focus on universal energy access—those still deprived are the poorest of the poor.
- The bank should first target energy access and then focus on clean energy.
- Renewable energy got a boost in 2015 when India decided to install 175 gigawatt capacity of such energy by 2022.
About International Solar Alliance
- The Paris Declaration establishes International Solar Alliance as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.
- The International Solar Alliance major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.
- The headquarter of ISA is at Gurugram, India.
- Kinnar Akhara
- Kinnar Akhara is a group of transgender saints pursuing religious activities has emerged as a very significant feature at Prayagraj Kumbh.
- Transgenders have been part of Sanatan Dharm and they have been given respectful status in religious epics and books of Hindu mythology.
- Akhara has provided a forum to transgenders to pursue a dignified life with religious rituals.
About Kumbh Mela
- Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river.
- Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas: the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha.
- These four fairs are held periodically at one of the following places by rotation: Allahabad (Prayagraj), Haridwar, Nashik district (Nashik and Trimbak), and Ujjain.
- The main festival site is located on the banks of a river: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar; the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati at Prayagraj, the Godavari at Nashik; and the Shipra at Ujjain.
- It has been inscribed on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- Rio de Janeiro recognised as World Capital of Architecture 2020
- Rio de Janeiro has been recognised as ‘World Capital of Architecture’ for 2020 by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
- Rio de Janeiro will be hosting the World Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in July 2020.
- The theme of the 2020 World Congress of the International Union of Architects is “All the worlds. Just one world.
World Capital of Architecture
- The World Capital of Architecture initiative underscores the common commitment of UNESCO and the UIA to preserve architectural heritage in the urban context.
- UNESCO designates the World Capital of Architecture as per the partnership agreement with the UIA.
- The World Capital of Architecture also hosts the UIA’s World Congress, an event that takes place every three years.
- The World Capital of Architecture aims to become an international forum for debates about pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, cultural heritage, urban planning and architecture.