LPG scheme closed, but only 3 states have gone kerosene-free
A parliamentary committee has said only three states and five union territories have become kerosene-free, though the government last September met the target of eight crore LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
- The allocation for the scheme has been cut down by 58% from ₹2,724 crore during 2019-20 to ₹1,118 crore during 2020-21.
- The Petroleum Ministry informed the committee that the government had met the target on September 7, 2019, and 96.9% coverage had been achieved nationwide, except in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Ministry said the scheme was no longer running, and the present allocation was meant to meet the arrears in the reimbursement of expenditure.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana –
- This Scheme aims to provide free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households by providing financial support of Rs 1600 for each new LPG connection.
- The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories based on the socio-economic and caste census data.
- It aims to address serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels. Non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer and Indoor air pollution causing acute respiratory illnesses in young children is addressed through this scheme.
International Day of Yoga 2020
The main national event for the 6th International Day of Yoga (IDY) will be held on 21st June 2020 at Leh, the capital of UT of Ladakh and the event will be led by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
About International Day of Yoga –
- The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), on September 27, 2014.
- A draft resolution on ‘International Day of Yoga’ introduced by India’s Ambassador to UN received support from 177 nations, the highest number of co-sponsors for any UNGA resolution.
- Thereafter, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
- International yoga day coincides with the summer solstice.
- Yoga is inscribed in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of India.
Merkel Cell Polyoma Virus
A team from National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, has developed a diagnostic system to detect the presence of Merkel Cell Polyoma virus in Merkel cell carcinoma tumours.
What is Merkel cell Polyoma?
- It is a rare and aggressive type of Skin cancer.
- It is associated with old age, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light and a weak immune system.
One more KFD case confirmed in Wayanad
One more case of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), commonly known as monkey fever, was confirmed in Wayanad.
- Vaccination is the only possible remedy to keep the disease at bay.
- Since KFD is a tick-borne viral infection that spreads from monkeys to humans, the movement of stray monkeys in human habitats is also a matter of concern.
About Kyasanur Forest Disease –
- KFD is caused by the Kyasanur Forest Disease Virus (KFDV). The virus was identified in 1957 when it was isolated from a sick monkey from the Kyasanur Forest. Since then, between 400-500 humans cases per year have been reported.
- Hard ticks are the reservoir of the KFD virus and once infected, remain so for life.
- Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick. KFDV can cause epizootic (a temporary disease widespread in animals) with high fatality in primates.
- Transmission to humans may occur after a tick bite or contact with an infected animal, most importantly a sick or recently dead monkey. No person-to-person transmission has been reported.
Restoring lost glory of Premamati’s tomb
Recently, the tombs of Premamati and Taramati regained its lost glory as both were renovated and restored by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) aided by the US under its Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
About Premamati and Taramati –
- According to historians, Premamati was a companion of Abdullah Qutub Shah, the seventh king of the Qutub Shahi dynasty who ruled between 1626 and 1672.
- She was a ballet dancer and was powerful enough to have a mosque built for her just outside the Golconda fort.
- The stone mosque remains unfinished as Premamati died in 1662 when Abdullah Qutub Shah was at the height of his power.
- The tombs of two women who retained their identities were honoured with a space inside the royal necropolis of the dynasty.
- Interestingly, while Premamati’s dome is 1.5 times bigger that of Taramati’s, both of them look equal due to the different sizes of the finials.
- Taramati, whose stone coffin has no inscription, is fabled to be a companion of Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah. A dancing pavilion built in her honour outside the Golconda Fort still exists in the location and has been turned into a convention centre.