Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS/KPSC Exams – 16th October 2018

Now, Aadhaar to check truant govt doctors

IAS

  • In a major reform, the state government will introduce an Aadhaar-based attendance system to check absenteeism of doctors and paramedics at government colleges and hospitals attached to them.
  • This is in response to repeated complaints about doctors absenting themselves and that some of them skip work to run their private clinics.
  • The introduction of a centralised Aadhaar-based attendance system also gains importance in the backdrop of the state rolling out the Arogya Karnataka universal health coverage scheme.
  • For starters, some five medical colleges will be chosen for pilot testing of the new system
  • Right now, there is a biometric attendance system in place, but they don’t have access to it.
  • For instance, when they receive a complaint about absenteeism, they have to check with the college concerned. Under the new system, we will have a dashboard based on a centralised database to monitor attendance
  • The new system will be rolled out to primarily monitor attendance of permanent staff, Manjula pointed out.
  • It will also be extended to cover outsourced staff, whose attendance they are concerned about.
  • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed the dashboard for the Aadhaar-based attendance system.
  • Fingerprint devices linked to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) database will be deployed for the pilot test.
  • Karnataka has 16 government medical colleges to which 25 hospitals are attached where more than 10,000 staffers work.
  • The e-Governance department has approved pilot testing of the Aadhaar-based attendance system. “The medical education department wanted to have a better system in place to find out if doctors are in the right place

BMTC to scrap 800 old buses to reduce breakdowns

KAS

  • The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has identified 800 old city buses that are either over 11 years old or have run more than 8.5 lakh km to be scrapped in the current financial year.
  • Recent data from the BMTC indicated that the number of cases of breakdown of buses on the road has come down gradually over the years.
  • In 2012-13, 3,488 breakdowns were reported (10 breakdowns on an average per day), while in 2017-18, it came down to 2,024 (close to six per day).
  • There are various factors for reduced breakdown, which include removal of old buses from the fleet, induction of new buses and periodic maintenance. In the coming days, the number of breakdown will reduce further provided more new buses are added to the fleet.
  • The BMTC is planning to induct 1,000 more new buses.
  • However, the plan will depend on the National Green Tribunal’s decision about inducting diesel buses.
  • A total of 1,406 new buses were inducted into the fleet the previous financial year after a long gap. Only 298 buses were added between 2014-15 and 2015-16 owing to reasons including lack of funds and legal hurdles. The fleet number now stands at 6,634.
  • V. Ponnuraj, MD, BMTC, said: “We are planning to induct 1,000 new buses in the coming days. However, everything will depend on the outcome of the NGT order

E-buses

  • There are demands from various quarters for BMTC to shift to environment friendly electric buses.
  • Though the BMTC has cleared a tender to operate 80 e-buses through a private operator, the move got embroiled in a controversy after Transport Minister D.C. Thammanna alleged that corrupt BMTC officials were forcing him to clear the agreement on e-buses.
  • BMTC and KSRTC employees had termed the Minister’s allegations “irresponsible” and sought an inquiry.
  • It is said that the Chief Minister, in a meeting held last week, directed the Chief Secretary along with two senior IAS officers to look into the issue of selecting a private operator to run electric buses.
Sand mining in Sarjapur lake takes toll on ecology
IAS IPS
  • Subjected to sand mining for over eight years, the Sarjapur lake has not only suffered irreparable damage but has lost its visitors, deer, foxes and peacocks.
  • According to Sarjapur villagers who have lived there for more than 50 years, many animals used to visit their farms close to the lake earlier.
  • It has been more than five years since they have found any animal in the area. They have disappeared because of the noise pollution and deforestation caused by sand mining,
  • The government had planted some trees like bamboo, gooseberry and others near the lake about 15 years ago, and had kept a frequent check on predators.
  • The trees grew up, and the lake became a home to many birds and animals.
  • But over the past eight years, the government has not kept any watch for some reasons
  • The residents also attributed the reason for the disappearance of animals to rapid urbanisation and people’s ignorance.
  • As the real estate boom in the village and as farmers slowly sold their lands for commercial establishments, nobody really cared about the lake.
  • That’s when the predators found their way
  • When villagers tried to oppose or informed the police, the mining came to a temporary halt. However, it resumed soon after.
  • The lake is presently under the minor irrigation department.
  • This lake will take years to see restoration. The lake-bed is dug up to 50 feet in depth,
  • An official from the department said the lake was under the BBMP. However, a top official acknowledged that the lake was their responsibility but said they were not aware of the illegal mining in the lake.
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