TN House passes Bill to protect delta farmers
The Assembly passed the Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Development Bill, 2020, which seeks to safeguard agriculture by disallowing new hazardous industries in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts, as well as in five blocks each of Cuddalore and Pudukottai districts.
- Among the hazardous industries that have been barred from setting up operations in the protected zone are zinc smelters, iron ore process plants, integrated steel plants, sponge iron plants, copper smelters, aluminium smelters, tanneries, units dealing in exploration, drilling and extraction of oil and natural gas, coal-bed methane, shale gas and other hydrocarbons, and ship-breakers.
- The protected area and the nature of banned industries are subject to expansion and deletion.
- Certain delta districts were not included in the Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Development Bill as they were largely industrial districts, and hence, were not as affected as the ones mentioned in the Bill.
What is ‘delta’ region of Tamil Nadu?
- Cauvery Delta is a region of Tamil Nadu state in southern India.
- It encompasses the lower reaches of the Kaveri River and its delta, and formed the cultural homeland and political base of the Chola Dynasty which ruled most of South India and parts of Sri Lanka and South-East Asia between the 9th and 13th centuries AD.
- It lies in the eastern part of Tamil Nadu.
- It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Palk straight on the south, Trichy district on the west, Perambalur, Ariyalur districts on the north west, Cuddalore district on the north and Puddukkottai district on the south west.
Government grants FCRA registration to AR Rahman’s NGO
The Union government has granted Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence this year to more than 20 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including the A.R. Rahman Foundation, run by the Academy award-winning composer and his family.
- Any NGO or association that intends to receive foreign funds has to compulsorily register under the FCRA, monitored by the Union Home Ministry.
- Under the 2010 Act, registered NGOs can receive foreign contribution for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural.
About FCRA –
- Government of India enacted the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) in the year 1976 with an objective of regulating the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution.
- The legislation aims to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies.
- It aims to prohibit funding for any activities detrimental to the national interest and for matters connected therewith.
- The act was majorly modified in 2010 with several amendments because many NGOs were found using illegal use of foreign funding.
Recent changes in FCRA –
- Earlier, as per the FCRA 2010, only applicants such as directors who sought permission to receive foreign funds were required to make such a declaration. Now, every member of an NGO must, under oath, through an affidavit, declare that they have never been involved in diverting foreign funds or “sedition” or “advocating violent means”.
- It has been made mandatory for office bearers and key functionaries and members to certify that they have not been “prosecuted or convicted” for “conversion” from one faith to another and for creating “communal tension and disharmony”.
Who are debarred from receiving foreign contribution?
- Candidate contesting an election
- Cartoonist, editor, publishers of registered newspaper
- Government servants or employee of any corporation
- Member of any legislature
World’s second-biggest control centre for goods trains set to roll
The World’s second-biggest centre for goods trains, built by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL), at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, is ready to begin operations.
About Eastern Dedicated Corridor –
- The Dedicated Freight Corridor, touted as one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the country, is a 3,360 km stretch consisting of the Eastern and Western corridors.
- The Eastern corridor, which is being funded by the World Bank, will run from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni near Kolkata, traversing Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
- The centre, built at Prayagraj, will be the ‘nerve-centre’ of the over 1,800 km-long eastern (DFR) and will be used as a one-stop shop for controlling and monitoring rail systems, including train operations and the power supply system.
- The project will eventually be linked to the Western DFC to form four hubs known as India’s Golden Quadrilateral including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
About Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India –
- The DFCCIL is a corporation run by the Ministry of Railways (India) to undertake planning & development, mobilisation of financial resources and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors.
- DFCC has been registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 in the year 2006.
SC passes interim order on Mahadayi Tribunal’s award
The Supreme Court recently passed an interim order allowing an application by the State of Karnataka to notify the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.
What is the issue?
Three states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka have had long disputes over water sharing issues of the Mahadayi river.
Tribunal Award of 2018 –
- The Tribunal had allocated 13.42 TMC water (included 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) from Mahadayi river to Karnataka.
- Maharashtra was allotted 1.33 TMC water while Goa was given 24 TMC.
- The Karnataka government had petitioned the tribunal seeking the release of water for the Kala-Banduri Nala project.
Inter-state water disputes –
Article 262 states that the Parliament may provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley. As per Article 262, the Parliament has enacted the following:
- River Board Act, 1956 – This empowered the GOI to establish Boards for Interstate Rivers and river valleys in consultation with State Governments. Till date, no river board has been created.
- Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956 – Under this act, if a state government or governments approach the Centre for the constitution of a tribunal, the government may form a tribunal after trying to resolve the dispute through consultations.
About Mahadayi river –
- Mahadayi is a rain-fed river also called Mandovi in Goa.
- Mahadayi or Mhadei, the west-flowing river, originates in Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary (Western Ghats), Belagavi district of Karnataka.
- It is joined by a number of streams to form the Mandovi which is one of two major rivers (the other one is Zuari River) that flows through Goa.
- The river travels 35 km in Karnataka; 82 km in Goa before joining the Arabian Sea.
4th anniversary of RURBAN Mission
The 4th Anniversary of the launch of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) was observed recently.
About RURBAN Mission –
- Undertaken by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, the SPMRM focuses on cluster-based integrated development through Spatial Planning.
- Rurban clusters are identified across the country’s rural areas showing increasing signs of urbanisation – i.e. increase in population density, high levels of non-farm employment, presence of growing economic activities and other socioeconomic parameters.
- The Mission aims to transform these Urban clusters by stimulating local economic development, enhancing basic services, and creating well planned Rurban clusters.
- Under the mission 300 Rurban clusters are envisaged to be developed in a time bound manner.
- SPMRM is a Core Centrally Sponsored Scheme.