Bihar on top in tap water supply to rural households
Bihar is on top in the country in terms of the functional household tap connections under the Centre’s ‘Har Ghar Jal’ scheme. It aims at providing safe and adequate tap water to all households in rural India by 2024.
According to the latest report of Jal Jeevan Mission of Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, Bihar has provided tap water connections to 67.03% of the total rural households in the state till February 27. Total 6.89 crore households across the country have got water supply connections since the launch of the scheme.
The state demonstrates a substantial improvement in access to clean water in the last 18 months by providing tap water connections to 1,31,98,267 households, compared with 3,16,391 (2%) only as on August 15, 2019, according to the official dashboard. This represents an impressive over 50% jump in providing tap water in the last 18 months.
The state has set the goal to provide drinking water to all the 1.96 crore rural households in 56,079 wards by 2024.
Potable water supply to water quality-affected habitations is a top priority under the Jal Jeevan Mission. As per the latest National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-20), Bihar topped the list with 99% population having access to improved drinking water sources.
Meanwhile, about 89% of the state households in urban areas are covered under water supply scheme, ensuring availability of drinking water in each household.
IUCN Status For African Elephants
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared African Forest elephants and Savanna (or jungle) elephants to be “critically endangered” and “endangered” respectively. Earlier, African elephants were considered a single species and were classified as “Vulnerable.” This is the first time that these two species have been individually assessed by the IUCN Red List. Highlights:
The African elephant is the largest terrestrial animal on earth and they are slightly larger than Asian elephants.
They have two finger-like features at the ends of their trunks, while Asian elephants have only one.
Elephants are matriarchal, which means they live in female-dominated groups.
African elephants are a key species, which means they play a vital role in their ecosystems. Elephants are also known as “ecosystem engineers” and can shape their habitat in many ways.
Key Facts of Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan
This is the pension plan of the central department to ensure pension protection for unorganized workers. It was launched in March 2019. It is managed by the Ministry of Labor and Employment and implemented through the Indian Life Insurance Corporation and the Public Service Center (CSC).
LIC will act as the pension fund manager and be responsible for pension payments. Unorganized workers whose monthly income does not exceed 15,000 rupees/month and belong to the entry age group of 18 to 40 are eligible to participate in the program.
The New Pension Plan (NPS), the employee’s national insurance company (ESIC) plan or the employee’s provident fund organization (EPFO) should not cover these plans. He/she should not be an income tax payer.
First Robot Citizen of India Humanoid Sophia
Digital works made by robotic artist Sophia (the world’s first robotic citizen) have been auctioned. Highlights:
A humanoid robot refers to a robot whose body shape is similar to a human body. The design of the robot is meant for functional purposes, which includes interacting with human tools and the environment, for experimental purposes, (the study of biped movement), or for other purposes.
Sophia is regarded as the first robot citizen in the world. Sophia is a realistic humanoid robot that can display humane facial expressions and interact with people.
In 2017, Sophia became a citizen of Saudi Arabia, the first robot to obtain citizenship of any country.
Sophia was appointed as the first innovation champion of the United Nations Development Programme and the first non-human being awarded the title of the United Nations.
India: In 2020, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched the first half-human astronaut named Vyom Mitra, who will fly in space during the first test flight of the human space mission Gaganyaan. Vyommitra is a space half-humanoid robot that looks like a woman.
Nationwide Review of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare conducted a nationwide review of Pradhan Mantri’s Fasal Bima Yojana. Highlights:
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was launched in 2016 to provide comprehensive insurance for crop damage or loss caused by accidents, thereby helping to stabilize farmers’ income and encouraging them to adopt innovative practices. The plan is managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.
Crops covered: oil crops; all food crops; annual commercial/horticultural crops
Insurance premium: All farmers of harif crops will pay a uniform cost of 2%, and all farmers of rabbi crops will uniformly pay 1.5% of the cost. For annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium paid by farmers is 5%.
Coverage: Designed to cover the losses suffered by farmers, such as losses before planting, post-harvest losses caused by hurricane rainfall, and losses caused by non-seasonal rainfall in India. It also covers losses caused by local disasters (such as floods, hail and landslide risks).
Exclusions: Losses due to war and nuclear risks, malicious sabotage and other preventable risks are not included in this plan.
ISRO Revises Launch Schedule of GISAT
After a minor issue with the spacecraft, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) revised the timetable for launching the geographic imaging satellite GISAT-1 on the GSLV-F10 rocket. Highlights:
The spacecraft was originally scheduled to launch on March 28. However, due to minor issues, it will now be launched from the Sriharikota spaceport on April 18. The launch was originally scheduled for March 5, 2020, but it was postponed due to technical reasons.
GSAT is a class of imaging satellites in the geostationary orbit of India. It has high time resolution, in addition to real-time monitoring, it also helps to provide near real-time imaging and fast revisiting functions. Two identical satellites will provide a resolution of 42 to 318 m. It will also carry multi-spectral and multi-resolution imaging instruments. GISAT-1 is the first most advanced agile earth observation satellite. It will be placed in the geosynchronous transfer orbit by GSLV-F10.
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