Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS / KPSC Exams – 7th June 2017

Waste management: High on intent, little on ground yet

Waste Management

  • The last two years have seen multiple waste management initiatives announced from new waste-to-energy plants to clean-up marshals to enforce segregation and most of them hailed as the right-fix for the crisis on hand.
  • But much to the frustration of the city’s residents, only a few of these initiatives have been implemented on the ground.
  • Though the city’s civic body always had a bone to pick with the Swachh Bharat rankings, they seem to be a good indicator of the garbage management in the city.
  • When in 2015, the rankings were based on infrastructure and intent, the city was ranked 7th, but slipped to 38 the next year, and fell to 210 in 2017 when the parameter was based on ground reality check.
  • The focus is on segregation of waste at source but most of the compost-based waste processing units are no longer functioning properly.
  • Some of the segregated wet waste is also being dumped at quarry-landfills, raising serious questions about waste management.
  • Even segregation levels have failed to cross the 50% mark in the city.
  • Ever since the garbage transport tenders expired in 2015, contractors are working on work orders with no formal contracts, which has resulted in hefty bills a matter that has been brought up in the BBMP council multiple times.
  • Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George is now insistent on forming pourakarmika cooperative societies.
  • However, neither the proposal nor the tender has been approved by the council.
  • The proposal to have clean-up marshals, where ex-servicemen were to be roped in to levy penalties on those not segregating waste, met a similar fate.
  • Though mandated by the High Court, the proposal is facing resistance in the BBMP council. N.S. Ramakanth, member, SWM Expert Committee, BBMP, said that red tape and “entrenched vested interests” have been the biggest roadblocks to the implementation of several initiatives.

City girl to get minor planet named after her

Sahithi Pingali, a Class 12 student of Inventure Academy

  • Sahithi Pingali, a Class 12 student of Inventure Academy, Bengaluru, joins an elite league of people to have a minor planet in the Milky Way named after them.
  • The honour comes after she excelled in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition.
  • As one of the 2,000 finalists, Ms. Pingali presented her paper, “An Innovative Crowd-sourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies”— based on her experiences after having developed an integrated mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit that obtains data through crowd-sourcing.
  • It wasn’t just an award at ISEF that she won. The Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has the right to name minor planets, decided to name a planet after her after she came within the top 3% of ISEF.
  • While the Indian contingent took home 21 awards in all, Ms. Pingali won three special awards and was awarded “overall second place” in the Earth and Environment Sciences category.
  • Currently, she is pursuing an internship at the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Michigan to further improve her method to detect water pollution.
  • Her work on Varthur Lake has already seen her get a Gold Medal at ISWEEEP (The International Sustainable World Engineering Energy Environment Project) Olympiad at Houston (U.S.), earlier this year.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

  • The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is the largest pre-college scientific research event in the world, and is owned and administered by the Society for Science & the Public a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.
  • Each May, more than 1500 students from roughly 70 countries and territories compete in the fair for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips and the grand prizes, including one $75,000 and two $50,000 college scholarships.
  • All prizes together amount to over $4,070,000.
  • Two awards ceremonies are held including: Special Awards Organization Presentation (which now includes the Government Awards Presentations) and the Grand Awards Ceremony.
  • The International Science and Engineering Fair was founded in 1950 by Science Service (now the Society for Science & the Public) and has been sponsored by the Intel Corporation since 1997.
  • As of 2012, seven ISEF alumni went on to win Nobel Prizes, with successful ISEF veterans including Jack Andraka and inventor Alex Deans.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

  • The MIT Lincoln Laboratory, located in Lexington, Massachusetts, is a United States Department of Defense research and development center chartered to apply advanced technology to problems of national security, the Laboratory provides a technical base for military electronics ranging from radars to reentry physics.
  • Research and development activities focus on long-term technology development as well as rapid system prototyping and demonstration.
  • These efforts are aligned within key mission areas.
  • The laboratory works with industry to transition new concepts and technology for system development and deployment.
  • The laboratory also maintains several field sites around the world.

Rs. 6,572 crore credit outlay for Dharwad district

Dattatreya_temple

  • Banks in Dharwad district have set a credit target of Rs. 6,572.13 crore for disbursal across various sectors in the 2017-18 fiscal.
  • The priority sector will get Rs. 5,460.38 crore credit and the non-priority sector Rs. 1,111.75 crore.
  • Credit disbursement for these sectors has been enhanced by 30 % over the previous financial year’s figures
  • In the priority sector, agriculture will receive the highest credit of Rs. 2,980.2 crore, while the industrial sector will receive Rs. 1,184.3 crore.
  • The other sectors will receive a total of Rs. 1,295.89 crore.
  • The break-up under this head is: minor irrigation Rs. 63.39 crore, land development Rs. 42.81 crore, agriculture equipment Rs. 173 crore, horticulture Rs. 22.91 crore, dairy farming Rs. 56.50 crore, poultry Rs. 9.25 crore, sheep rearing Rs. 8.75 crore, fisheries Rs. 38.90 crore and forestry Rs. 11 crore.
  •  Also, the small and medium industries and the self-employment sector will receive Rs. 1,184.30 crore
  • In the previous financial year banks had set a credit target of Rs. 5,070.12 crore, of which they disbursed Rs. 4,918.56 crore, for an achievement of 97 %.
  • Last year, Rs. 4,193.27 crore was meant to be given away as credit among the priority sector, of which Rs. 3,465 crore was disbursed, which is an achievement of 82.64 %.
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