RAJASTHAN CURRENT AFFAIRS: JULY – AUGUST 2020
Solar Panels on Canal-tops in Rajasthan
• Rajasthan’s public health engineering department (PHED) is planning to install solar panels on top of the Rajiv Gandhi Lift Canal (RGLC) and other large reservoirs across the state.
• This will help in reducing the electricity costs at pumping stations and at same time help in reduction of water evaporation.
IIT- Jodhpur develops novel method for biofuel production
• Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur (IIT-Jodhpur), using a novel catalyst concept have managed to significantly reduce the temperature and energy requirements for a key step in the chemical process in biofuel production.
• The team of Professor Rakesh K Sharma and his post-doctoral researcher Dr. Krishnapriya have developed a catalytic system that has nanometre size cramped galleries in Silica-Alumina sheets (a refined form of clay). These confined galleries work as nano-reactor for catalytic reaction and convert the biomass to transport fuel under mild conditions. The process is under patent.
Panel for welfare of labourers
• In July 2020, Chief secretary Rajeeva Swarup has directed to form a committee to review the progress of various schemes run by the government for the welfare of workers under the building and other construction workers (BOCW) board and ensure job security for them post-lockdown and in the midst of Covid pandemic.
• It was also decided that state government will collect the 1% labour cess from all the constructions and buildings (Post 2009), the payment of which are still due.
Panel to study salt mining at Sambhar lake
• In July 2020, Rajasthan High Court directed the advocate general, additional solicitor general and amicus curiae to suggest names of officials and scientists to form a committee to carry out inspection of Sambhar Lake and assess impact of salt mining.
• The division bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta gave the direction during the hearing of a suo motu petition on the death of migratory birds at Sambhar lake last winter. The names have to be given to court within seven days, while posting the matter for next hearing on 27 July 2020.
Garib Kalyan Rajogaar Abhiyaan: July 2020 Update
• Under Garib Kalyan Rojgaar Abhiyaan, of the total target to build 50,378 community sanitary complexes (CSCs), construction of 803 has been completed in six states so far. Rajasthan is among six states (116 districts) in the country where the campaign has been launched. In the state, the Rojgar
Abhiyaan is being carried out in 22 districts
• Rajasthan’s progress in building CSCs has been highest among the states, at 389, since the launch of the campaign on June 15. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh (215) and Bihar (102).
• Two districts of Rajasthan feature among the top three districts in the country. While Baramula (Jammu and Kashmir) topped the chart completing construction of 64 toilets, Bhilwara (2nd) and Sirohi (3rd) (Rajasthan) have completed 43 and 41 toilets, respectively.
Rajasthan forms committee to reduce board syllabus
• In July 2020, Minister for primary and secondary education Govind Singh Dotasra announced that a committee had been formed to reduce RBSE syllabus for the current academic session since all schools are closed due to lockdown.
• The CBSE has already decided to rationalise its syllabus up to 30 per cent by retaining the core concept of subjects.
RRECL awards projects under Kusum Scheme
• Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL) has allotted 722 megawatt to 623 farmers under the Centre’s PM Kusum scheme aimed at generating income for farmers from their unfertile or semi-barren land.
• Rajasthan is the first state in the country to conduct a successful bidding and allot more capacity than the target given by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Government Instant Messaging System
• The state PHED department has also developed an app GIMS or Government Instant Messaging System for messaging officials up to the level of executive engineers and junior chemist. This will be used as an alternate to WhatsApp for the exchange of internal information.
Gandhi libraries to be set up
• The department of rural development and panchayati raj, GoR has identified 33 gram panchayats in 33 districts of Rajasthan for setting up of Gandhi Gyan Kendra Pustakalay Evam Vachnalays with the objective of spreading Gandhian values to the people.
• These 33 libraries in the gram panchayat will be a model for other villages in the district to follow and set up libraries in their villages. Each library will have at least 1,000 to 1,500 books. These libraries will be lunched on October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti).
The objective of these libraries will be:
• To spread Gandhian values by collecting books on Mahatma Gandhi and those written by him.
• To spread knowledge about poultry farming, agriculture, organic farming etc will also be spread.
• It will serve as a community place for discussions and meetings.
• It will be used as a training centre for various rural development schemes.
• It will also be used for community mobilization.
Maintenance of these buildings or centres will be done through convergence of schemes like MLA-LAD, MP-LAD, BADP etc.
NWR gets its first electric train in Rajasthan
• Rajasthan zone of the North Western Railway (NWR) got its first electric train when the Jan Shatabdi Express powered by a WAG-5 electric locomotive chugged off from Delhi Sarai Rohilla station to Ajmer in July 2020.
• The State Medical Health and Ayurveda Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma launched the Giloy planting campaign ‘Amrita’ in the state under the aegis of Rajasthan State Drug Plant Division, Ayurveda Department Government of Rajasthan.
• Under this campaign about one and a half lakh Giloy saplings will be planted in Jaipur district in the next 4 months. Giloy is a safe medicine and it has an important role in developing immunity.
• CM Ashok Gehlot released book on cancer by senior journalist Dr. Jaswant Rathi titled “Mera Yudh, Cancer Virudh”.
• In July 2020, Dr Rommel Singh, who played a key role in controlling Corona in Bhilwara during the March 2020 outbreak, has been selected in the list of 87 for 2020 Doctors Day IMA National Awards by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
RBSE Starts digital locker for mark-sheets, certificates
• The Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education has launched digital locker to get marks sheets or any certificate related to the board online. This facility will help around 60 lakh students who had appeared in different board exams of 2018,2019, and 2020.
• With digital locker, students will get record of their certificates, marks sheet and other documents online. The data will be available online even if a student loses any mark sheet or certificate. To connect with the digital locker system, students will have to download ‘digital locker govt of India’ app and then register with their mobile or Aadhaar number. They will get an OTP after verification. Students can thereafter generate their password on the app.
• Previously, students had to approach to Rajasthan Education Board office in Ajmer to get their duplicate or other documents, but later Vidhyarti Seva Kendra were established at all district headquarters so that students do not have to rush to Ajmer. Now, the digital locker system will help students get their documents online.
Chittorgarh – Ek Pahal Initiative
• Chittorgarh police has rolled out a special project ‘Chittorgarh – Ek Pahal’ with an aim to connect with the villagers and solve problems related not only to law and order, but improve the overall situation of health, education and livelihood.
• There are eight police circles in the district and each circle officer (CO) has been assigned a village with the largest crime rate, especially community-based traditional crimes, to deter the younger generation from taking the wrong path.
New App to register voters online
• Now, an eligible voter can add his name to the electoral roll online through NVSP portal or by downloading ‘Voter helpline’ mobile app. The voters can also make changes and delete their names from the electoral roll through this app or the portal.
Rajasthan’s first law university to function from this year
• Rajasthan’s first dedicated law university – Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar (DBAU), Jaipur is set to start its academic session from this year.
State Government approves additional fund for upcoming new medical colleges
• In August 2020, the state government has decided to accelerate the process of construction of new medical colleges in 7 districts and release additional funds for admission to 50 additional seats in five medical colleges.
• According to the proposal, new medical colleges will be operated under the Rajasthan Medical Society in Bhilwara, Bharatpur, Pali, Churn, Sikar, Banner and Dungarpur districts. In the first phase, a cost of Rs 189 crore per college was sanctioned for admission to 100 seats in these colleges in which the central and state government’s share is 60:40.
• The Central government has also approved an increase of Rs 60 crore per college for admission to 50 additional seats in five of these medical colleges.
Devvani App for Sanskrit Learning:
• Rajasthan Sanskrit Education Department has released the Devvani mobile app for online education of students. This app has been prepared by Rajasthan State Sankrit Education Research & Training Institute (SSIERT), Mahapura to promote use of information technology’ in Sanskrit Education.
• Sanskrit Education Minister Dr. Subhash Garg launched the app which will help students from class 3 to 12 to study Sanskrit subject.
Document museum to display history of 107 princely states
• India’s first document museum will be inaugurated by CM Ashok Gehlot on 20th August 2020. The museum will located in the premises of Rajasthan State Archives Bikaner (RSAB) and will house a collection of farmans (royal decree issued by emperor), copper plates, nishans (issued by the royal family), patta (land records) and legal decrees of erstwhile 107 princely states including two from present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan.
• The state-of-the art museum is divided into eight categories— document gallery, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Gallery, copper plates gallery, Maharana Pratap Gallery, exhibition gallery and Dr LP Peffitorie gallery, conservation gallery and state freedom fighters gallery. Two more additions—cartography and an auditorium — will come up in the next phase.A total of 3,000 historical articles have been kept on display at the museum.
Rajasthan receives 30 percent lesser rainfall compared to 2019
• At the start of August 2020, Rajasthan has received 30% less rainfall as compared to last year. As compared to 2019, only Churu district (19%) has received excess rainfall while seven districts have received normal rainfall. The major concern is for 25 districts have got deficit rainfall while three spells of the south west monsoon are completed.
• Till 02nd August 2020:
- Lowest rainfall in the state district – Sriganganagar 74.25 mm
- Highest rainfall in the state district – Jhalawar 300.04 mm
MBC to get 5% quota reservation in state judicial services
• Rajasthan government has approved 5 percent MBC Reservation in Rajasthan Judicial Services. The state government has amended the Rajasthan Judicial Service Rules, 2010, through the state cabinet on the initiative by chief minister Ashok Gehlot to provide 5 percent reservation in place of 1 percent.
• Candidates belonging to the most backward classes have been demanding amendment in the judicial service rules for a long time so that they can get five per cent reservation in the state judicial service instead of 1 percent.
MBC Reservation in Rajasthan
• In February 2019, the Gehlot government passed the Rajasthan Backward Classes Amendment Act-2019 paving the way for a 5 percent reservation for the community.
• With the passage of this bill, five castes including Gurjar, Gadiya Luhar, Banjara, Rebari, and Raika which were previously classified as OBC, have now been classified as MBC (Most Backward Classes).
• While the bill was challenged, in April 2019, the Supreme Court refused to stay the reservation saying that it won’t interfere in the interim order of the High Court.
Religious Places in State to Open September 1 Onwards
• Unlock 3 guidelines released by Department of Home, Rajasthan – have notified that small places of worship (temples, masjids, gurudwaras etc.) in rural areas, which used to have an average daily visit of up to 50 persons per day, prior to the Lockdown, may continue to be opened as per guidelines.
• All other places of religious worship viz. temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras etc. shall be permitted to open from September 1st, 2020 with certain conditions/protocols. The department will issue separate guidelines for this, subsequently.
Private Agencies can’t use words like “Investigation”
• Private security agencies will no longer be able to use words like “detective, investigation, surveillance, intelligence, interrogation, facility and labour suppliers” with their names.
• The state government has issued a notification banning the use of these words by private security agencies. It also stated, license renewal of a private security agency will not be issued if the prohibited words are used.
Plasma Bank inaugurated in Kota
• State health minister Dr Raghu Sharma on 1st August 2020 inaugurated the plasma bank in Kota Medical College Hospital through video conferencing.