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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 19, 2017

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Stubble burning: Read Here

  • Over 12,000 cases of stubble burning have been reported during the Kharif season in Haryana in 2017 while the satellite data have revealed that more than 42,000 such cases were reported in Punjab in the same period.
  • The statistics came at a time when the entire northern region of India is facing a severe crisis of air pollution. 236 FIRs have been lodged and Rs. 39,85,000 collected as fines for 1,493 cases.
  • Steps were taken by the Central government, the CPCB and the State boards include banning of stubble burning, mass awareness programmes, the constitution of a task force to suggest remedial measures for crop residue burning, including options such as the use of innovative farm implements like Happy Seeder among others.

America First: Read Here

  • The USA will witness a shift from prioritising alliances to more focus on national sovereignty. U.S. President is poised to outline a new national security strategy that envisions nations in a perpetual state of competition. It reverses Obama-era warnings on climate change and de-emphasises multinational agreements that have dominated the U.S.’s foreign policy since the Cold War.
  • America First Policy focuses on four main themes — protecting the homeland and way of life; promoting American prosperity; demonstrating peace through strength and advancing American influence in an ever-competitive world.
  • U.S. is also planning to renew his call for the member states in the United Nations and NATO to spend more on defence, saying that the U.S. will insist on its alliances being fair and reciprocal.

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Enemy Properties: Read Here

  • Properties belonging to people who had left for countries like Pakistan after Partition and which are free from any legal tangle will soon be disposed of with Home Minister giving his nod to the proposal.
  • Enemy Property Act, 2017 was amended recently to include disposal/transfer of enemy properties. The government decided to notify the rules expeditiously considering the importance of these new provisions.
  • According to the amended Act, “Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm. The owners of the enemy properties are those who have left India and settled in Pakistan or China. The government has vested these properties in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.

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Rural Development: Read Here

  • Priority areas for rural development are likely to be the mission to double the income of farmers by 2022 as well as employment generation in sectors including housing and exports. In the farm sector, the plan is to ensure that farmers are not just producers but are part of the entire value chain
  • Revamping of the National Skill Development Mission and an emphasis on the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme for promoting apprenticeship training and incentivising employers keen on engaging apprentices were key with regard to job creation.
  • The government is studying supply-side constraints with respect to the export sector, especially the labour-intensive ones, with a view to increasing employment. In the financial sector, the priority is over addressing concerns over depositors’ money in case of a lender failing.

Agriculture: Read Here

  • A new startup has come up with a solution which aims to optimise water usage using sensors and on-field connected devices. It uses sensors to measure soil moisture to optimise water usage on fields.
  • The new solution is known as Sensor-based Intelligent Crop Centric Automation. It will accordingly calculate the amount of water and intervals when the crop requires watering. Based on this input, the drip irrigation system will only allow the required amount of water to flow into the field.
  • The product improves the yield per acreage by 1.2-2 times and reduces water wastage by almost 60-70 percent. The product had won a grant from the Centre and was also one of the top 20 start-ups under the Innovate for Digital India challenge.