State Issues- November 2016

Department allows farmers in Ramanagara district to kill wild boars

  • The state forest department has issued a notification allowing culling of wild boars in Ramanagara distric, by declaring them vermin.
  • The notification issued by the Ramanagara forest office which has legalized the hunting of wild boars, if they are found damaging crops in any part of the district.
  • This is contrary to Section 62 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which allows hunting of some wild animals, including wild boars, in specific areas.
  • The pitch to declare wild boar a vermin was formally made by Bengaluru Rural MP DK Suresh, who complained that the hairy beasts were prolific breeders and caused extensive damage to crops.
  • The boars, uproot flower bulbs, sugarcane crops, damage paddy fields and other crops. “Some people have even given up farming because of the menace,”
    While farmers in Ramanagara district have hailed the move, wildlife activists have slammed it because they fear this could result in massive hunting of the animal as its meat is considered a rare delicacy.
  • They say it would have been wise if before declaring pigs vermin, a scientific study was conducted whether the boar population is rising or decreasing, and their impact on agriculture.
  • Some forest officials said the move would set a bad precedent and shift to other wild animals like monkeys and peacocks
  • Principal chief conservator of forests BG Hosmath, however, allayed such fears saying they have imposed stringent guidelines to prevent any misuse. “Farmers can kill the boar using only licensed guns, but they cannot consume the meat. The carcass has to be buried or burnt as per guidelines, and videography of the method of disposal has to be furnished to the forest official.

What happens when animals are declared Vermin?

  • Once declared vermin, that particular species can be hunted or culled without restriction.
  • If implemented, it will apply to wild animals listed in various Schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) 1972, other than Schedule I & Part II of Schedule II that lists most endangered and iconic species like tigers, leopards, and elephants.

Existing legal provisions for objective management of man-animal conflict:

  • Section 11(1)a of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA) authorizes chief wildlife warden to permit hunting of any problem wild animal only if it cannot be captured, tranquillized or translocated.
  • For wild animals in Schedule II, III or IV, chief wildlife warden or authorized officers can permit their hunting in a specified area if they have become dangerous to humans or property (including standing crops on any land).
  • Section 62 of Act empowers Centre to declare wild animals other than Schedule I & II to be vermin for specified area and period.

Improvement works on Charmadi ghat planned at Rs 6 crore

  • The National Highways division of the Public Works Department, Mangaluru, has submitted a Rs 6-crore proposal for improvement of the Charmadi Ghat road (NH 234), identified as an alternative to the Shiradi Ghat road (between Hassan and Mangaluru), on which the second phase of works will be launched.
  • PWD (NH division) assistant executive engineer (AEE) Abdul Rehman informed Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment B Ramanath Rai, also in charge of the district, during a meeting at the deputy commissioner’s office on 1st Nov that it would be imperative to take up the improvement works on the 75-km Charmadi Ghat (BC Road Junction to Charmadi Ghat) since the road is just 4.50 metres to 5.50 metres wide.
  • The shoulders on either side need to be improved using gravel to cater to the surge in traffic. As many as 482 sharp curves have been identified from Bantwal to Charmadi Ghat alone.
  • The officer also suggested that the road shoulders can be improved using ‘charalu’ (sand and pebble mixed substance found near rivers and pits) instead of sand which is too loose for the intended work
  • In the case of ‘charalu’, not less than 536 loads will be required to take up the work.
  • According to the proposal copy, the potholes on the same stretch should be filled using asphalt and the road sides that have been damaged owing to rainfall and vehicular movement should be strengthened using hard sand.

61 Achievers felicitated with Rajyotsava award

  •  Sixty-one achievers from various fields received the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award at the 61st Karnataka Rajyotsava programme held at Ravindra Kalakshetra.
  • Chief minister Siddaramaiah, Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George and Mayor G Padmavathi felicitated the award winners.
  • The award winners were draped in a ceremonial shawl and felicitated with a 20 gram gold medal, a purse of Rs 1 lakh and a citation.
  • Former Supreme Court judge Justice Shivaraj Patil appreciated the Siddaramaiah government for bringing to light the service of many lesser-known people by presenting the award. He said, “People of Karnataka have big hearts. We don’t harm others over issues of land and water. But if someone hurts us, we will not be silent about it.”
  • Siddaramaiah appreciated the expert committee and minister Umashree for selecting the awardees. “Karnataka Rajyotsava is the most prestigious award in the state. Those who have received this honour are the guiding light for society.”
  • He urged people to promote Kannada and culture of the state, not only on November 1, but throughout the year.

IFFI brings magic of movies to visually challenged with audio description

  • In a first-of-its-kind initiative, International Film Festival of India (IFFI), has tied up with Saksham, a non-governmental organisation, to bring the magic of movies to the visually challenged.
  • The idea is to make movies accessible to all, and, in the process, reach out to wider audiences.
  • Initiated in collaboration with UNESCO, the move, aimed at empowering persons belonging to marginalised sections of society, will see the visually challenged enjoy films screened at IFFI like common audiences.
  • Undertaken under Audio Described Movies for Blind People project by Saksham, these films have been provided with specially done audio description which provides visually impaired persons, a true sense of what is happening on the screen.
  • Normally visually impaired people or those with low-vision, watch movies following sounds and perceive what the filmmaker has offered to spectators.
  • Since lots of crucial information is provided through facial expressions, costumes, ambiance, environment and body language, such information does not reach persons with blindness and are perceived based on audio clues.
  • To overcome this, a practice has been started of creating audio descriptions for crucial visual information, common in European and American countries, making viewing of movies by visually impaired persons a very fulfilling and wholesome experience.
  • Besides description of scenery, costumes, facial expressions and body language of the cast involved, they provide a flavor of what is happenings between natural pauses in the dialogue.
  • The audio-described films are distributed free, and have received tremendous response from audiences, following screenings at the International Film Festival, in Hyderabad, October last.
  • The 22 films are Black, Munna Bhai MBBS, Hanuman, Kat Kat Kad Kaddu, Karamati Coat, Kabhi Pass Kabhi Fail, Taare Zameen Par, Stanley ka Dabba, Chakkad Bakkad Bombe Bo, Heda Hoda, Hello, Little Terrorist, Burfi, 3 Idiots, Peepli Live, Dhobi Ghat, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, PK, Gandhi, Tamil films Haridas, Devat Tremangai, Telugu film Amulyam and children’s films.
  • Incidentally, UNESCO has been working to improve access to culture for people with disabilities through initiatives like accessible museums and heritage sites, accessible content, art education, and dance curriculum for visually impaired.

All forms of chewing tobacco banned, government tells HC

  • The state government on Wednesday submitted to the High Court that it has banned all forms of chewing tobacco, including the flavored and scented varieties.
  • The government filed its affidavit along with the order of the Food Safety Commissionerate dated October 26, 2016, stating that it will enforce the provisions of Food Safety and Standards [Prohibition and Restriction on Sales] Regulation, 2011.
  • The government submitted to the court that rule 2.3.4 of the Regulation  Product not to contain any substance which may be injurious to health; tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products will be enforced.
  • A PIL was filed by the Cancer Patients Aid Association seeking directions to prohibit the manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of all forms of chewing tobacco including flavored, scented etc.
  • The petitioners have contended that though there is a ban on sale and distribution of chewing tobacco, the state and the Central governments have failed to implement the ban.
  • Though Karnataka has banned gutkha, plain chewing tobacco is still sold separately in separate pouches. The petitioner’s counsel asked the High Court to monitor the ban imposed by the state government.
  • A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice R B Budihal adjourned the next hearing.

Akrama-Sakrama rules violate fundamental rights, High Court told

  • The High Court on 2nd Nov  adjourned the hearing on a batch of petitions seeking quashing of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regularisation of Unauthorised Development or Constructions) Rules, 2014, or the Akrama-Sakrama rules.
  • The petitioner’s advocate Jayna Kothari contended that according to the rules, up to 25% of deviations in commercial buildings and 50% setback violations could be regularised.
  • These calculations are based on a random study made in one particular ward of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits. They cannot be applied to buildings located in places outside Bengaluru.
  • The state government, in its additional affidavit filed six months ago, had said that of the 16.75 lakh sites/buildings in Bengaluru, the BBMP had been able to collect tax for only 13.82 lakh sites/buildings.
  • The remaining 2.93 lakh sites/buildings were estimated as unauthorised. Another counsel for the petitioner argued that the rules violate Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 14 (Right Equality) and 20 (Protection in respect of conviction for offences) of the Constitution.
  • While a person who has constructed four floors is allowed to regularise his construction, another person is not allowed to construct two more floors on his duplex building.

Hearing adjourned

  • A division bench comprising Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice R B Budihal, adjourned the hearing to 3rd November.
  • The petitioners  Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development and others have sought for quashing of the Akrama-Sakrama rules.
  • They have contended that the penalty percentage in the new rules was comparatively less than the one that fixed in the 2007 rules.
  • Another petitioner, Citizens’ Action Forum, has raised the issue of the state government not consulting with the Metropolitan Planning Committee that was established in January 2014 before notifying the Akrama-Sakrama rules.
  • The Forum had contended that the government was not just regularising building violation but also violation of land use.

Cabinet sub-committee on sand crisis

  • A cabinet sub-committee headed by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra has been set up to look into the sand crisis that has been plaguing Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts.
  • The committee which has been asked to submit its recommendations in two weeks also comprises elected representatives from the two coastal districts.
  • The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on 3rd Nov.
  • During the meeting, the elected representatives highlighted that the enforcement of the new sand policy had hit the construction industry in the two districts.
  • The sand problem had worsened to such an extent that all construction activities in the coastal districts had come to a halt.
  • They have demanded a separate extraction policy for the two districts.  Senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes and ministers B Ramanath Rai, Vinay Kulkarni, H K Patil, Kagodu Thimmappa, Pramod Madhwaraj and other leaders were present at the meeting.

Corporation Bank to shift base to city

  • With Corporation Bank all set to move its major operations from their head office in Mangaluru to Bengaluru, the coastal city is close to losing its status as the cradle of banking.
  • Though the bank may retain Mangaluru as its headquarters, it would be by name only, like Manipal-based Syndicate Bank that moved bulk of its operations to Bengaluru. Its board of directors agreed to the conceptualisation and layout plans at its 8-acre land at Yelahanka in Bengaluru. It would have every facility, including the staff training college.
  • The approved facilities include administrative units and other offices, executive block, board room with all infrastructural facilities, Corp Bank training academy (in about three  acres), IT units such as FTS, web centre / financial inclusion division, core centre, merchandize acquisition centre, e-lobby and currency chest (in about two acres) and accommodation for the staff.
  • While Mecon Limited, Ranchi, has been chosen as the executing agency, it has appointed SS Infrastructure Development Consultants Pvt Ltd (Hyderabad) as the “architect consultant” for development of bank properties.
  • The seven-storey administrative building will have seating capacity of 850, besides cabins for chairman and officials. The facility will also have a 700-seater multi-purpose hall, three 100-seater meeting halls, 25-seater meeting rooms  in each floor, six-seater discussion rooms  in each floor.
  • While the ground floor in the facility will have security division, the first floor will have financial management and treasury, second will house personnel management/marketing and third credit division. inspection and audit and IT will occupy floors four and five.
  • The move has caused resentment among public figures in the city.
  • MLA J R Lobo questioned the board’s wisdom in approving the Rs 1,000 crore transfer plan at a time when the bank registered Rs 506 crore loss in 2015-16 for the first time in its 110 year history.
  • Mangaluru Mayor Harinath said efforts will be made by leaders across party lines to stop the process of shifting the bank to Bengaluru. The Commerce Ministry and the RBI will be approached through MPs Oscar Fernandes, Veerappa Moily and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda. ­

Cultural carnival Hampi Utsav off to a colourful start

  • The cultural carnival, ‘Hampi Utsav’ was off to a colourful start at Eduru Basavanna main stage at Hampi, once the capital of the mighty Vijayanagara empire, on Thursday with Chief Minister offering floral tribute to the statue of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari.
  • Cultural programmes, by artistes from within the country and abroad, are set to be organised on nine stages in the capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagar empire.
  • There are also competitions in archery, rifle shooting, rural sports, adventure sports, women’s fest, poets’ meet for children and a state-level poets’ meet. The town sparkled, with the monuments decked up with colourful electric lights.
  • The inaugural ceremony was held at the dais set up at the Basavanna Mantapa opposite the Virupaksha temple.
  • Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the festivities by offering floral tributes to an idol of Goddess Bhuvaneshwari and by holding aloft the festival torch. He said that former minister, the late M P Prakash, who hailed from the district, was instrumental in conceptualising the festival.
  • Fireworks in the sky added glitz to the occasion, attended by visitors from far and wide.
  • The chief minister said that he prayed for rains in the state, as the drought for the second consecutive year has led to a drinking water crisis, with 110 taluks being declared drought-hit and 29 more taluks set to be declared drought-affected.
  • Also, there have been floods in Bidar, Kalaburagi and Raichur district. The Centre had been requested to provide Rs 4,000 crore for drought and flood relief works, the chief minister said.
  • A heavy rush was witnessed at the nine different venues of the cultural programmes. People had a tough time reaching them, with entry of vehicles restricted into the heritage town.
  • Cultural programmes, by artistes from within the country and abroad, are set to be organised on nine stages in the capital of the erstwhile Vijayanagar empire.
  • There are also competitions in archery, rifle shooting, rural sports, adventure sports, women’s fest, poets’ meet for children and a state-level poets’ meet. The town sparkled, with the monuments decked up with colourful electric lights.

Chopper rides to be offered for seven days during Hampi Utsav

  • The Hampi Utsav Samiti has organised chopper rides titled ‘Hampi By Sky’ for a period of seven days as part of Hampi Utsav-2016.
  • This is the third year in succession Hampi By Sky is being organised during the festivities.
  • But the last two times, the chopper rides were limited to three days.
  • This time the number of days has been increased because of the popularity of the activity. From November 1 to November 7, two choppers will be available from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. at the makeshift helipad near Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari in Kamalapur town.

Karnataka Hakki Habba (bird festival) in January

  • The third edition of the Karnataka Hakki Habba (bird festival) will be celebrated at Daroji Karadi Dhama, near Hampi, on January 5, 6 and 7. The first two festivals were held in Mysuru and Uttara Kannada districts.
  • The winged beauties in particular will be studied and observed during the third edition of Karnataka Bird Festival, to be held in JSW Interpretation Centre, Daroji Bear Sanctuary, near Kamalapur.
  • The Karnataka forest department and Eco Tourism Board are organising the event.
  • The first two editions were organised at Ranganathittu bird sanctuary and Kali Tiger Reserve while the third edition was planned at Magadi lake in Gadag district.
  • However, it was shifted to Hampi due to less water in Magadi lake and less migratory birds following the failure of monsoon in the region
  • The varied landscape of Hampi rocky boulders, small lakes, Tungabhadra reservoir, canals, dry scrub jungle all provide the ideal habitat for birds.
  • A large number of winter migratory birds such as flamingos and sandpipers come to Hampi every year. Even the Great Indian Bustard, a highly endangered species has been sighted in Ballari district.
  • Mr Samad Kottur who had captured Hampi-bound birds in his book, Birds of Hampi, said it is the result of over a decade’s observation of birds and will give details of the birds with places they can sighted to help  bird watchers.
  • Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International have selected Hampi as an Important Bird Area (IBA) as it has a significant population of the yellow-throated bulbul, a globally threatened species.
  • The Bird Festival aims to provide a platform for well-known naturalists, experts, forest officers, bird photographers to share their insights & thoughts. This festival focuses on putting bird conservation at center-stage.
  • Some of the highlights are a bird photo exhibition, workshops on bird photography, guided bird-watching walks and lectures by naturalists.
  • Daroji Karadi Dhama is also the biggest sloth bear sanctuary in Asia, with rich flora and fauna.
  • Over 200 bird species have already been recorded in and around Daroji and the district has been a haven for migratory birds including Great Indian Bustards, flamingos, and bar-headed geese.
  • The festival is being organised by the Department of Forest and the Karnataka Eco-Tourism Development Board, in association with the local birdwatchers’ association, according to S.K. Arun, amateur wildlife photographer and honorary district wildlife warden.
  • Many experts are expected to participate in the festival and interact with the participants.
  • Apart from lectures, there will be panel discussions, an exhibition of bird photographs, with stress on birds and wildlife in and around Daroji, bird walks and the like.
  • To motivate people to take up bird-watching and photography, there will be sessions by experts who will give tips on how to identify birds and take photographs.

Karnataka Govt to introduce public health courses for non-medical staff

  • The state government is all set to introduce postgraduate and short-term courses in public health for non-medical staff working in various government hospitals across the state.
  • The Department of Health and Family Welfare has sought that the Indian Institute of Public Health, under the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), start these courses in Public Health and Management in Bengaluru.
  • At present, the institute is offering a postgraduate training programme for medical officers in batches. So far, 104 doctors have undergone the training at the institute since 2011.
  • The new training will be conducted for selected non-medical staff such as paramedics, nurses, ground-level health workers such as Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Link Workers.
  • According to a top official at the Indian Institute of Public Health, the training would be intended to ensure better implementation of various health schemes, with emphasis on preventive health care.
  • Under the National Health Mission, several programmes have been launched. Not all doctors, nurses and paramedics are trained in the implementation of these. Public health is something particular to a specified area and needs to be understood well. The training intends to offer the same.
  • For instance, the city is witnessing a relapse of the dengue epidemic. Then, public health experts can look at the reasons behind the relapse and suggest measures to be put in place. Hence, educating the staff in this regard would benefit the government, with cost effectiveness being one aspect of it.
  • Training would be offered to staff from both the Ayush department and those working under the Department of Health and Family Welfare. Among the other courses, the institute would offer Master’s and PhD programmes in Public Health, and Clinical Research.

Karnataka – Govt Slashes Tax On CCTV Cameras To Increase Surveillance

  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and its peripherals are all set to become cheaper with the Commercial Taxes department slashing the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the products from 14.5% to 5.5%.
  • The low compliance with the directions of enforcement agencies to mandatory install CCTV cameras in schools, jewellery shops and establishments has prompted the state government to slash the VAT rate on these electronic security gadgets, in a bid to boost their sales.
  • The slash is applicable for VAT levied on CCTV cameras and accessories such as recording devices, cables, power supplies and racks.
  • The police had first made it mandatory for installation of CCTV cameras in jewellery shops following a spate of thefts and robberies in showrooms.
  • The installation of the gadgets was made mandatory in public transport vehicles following the gang-rape in  Delhi in 2012.
  • Over the past few years, installation of CCTV cameras have been made mandatory at schools in order to ensure safety of children; at all ATM kiosks (following the attack on a woman inside the money vending kiosk of a nationalised bank in the heart of Bengaluru in 2014) and crowded public places among others.
  • Sources in the finance department said the move to reduce VAT rate on CCTVs was taken at the instance of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah following representations from various organisations and associations that the higher tax slab on the devices was making them un-affordable.
  • According to those dealing with the CCTV camera market, the devices along with their accessories are priced at Rs 85,000 and above (high-end with intra-red 16 cameras) to middle range units costing around Rs 27,000 and basic models Rs 2,100 (single units), excluding the installation charges.
  • The dealers pointed out that there are a lot of enquiries but a majority of them did not convert into sales.
  • The finance department officials feel the reduction in VAT rate by nine percentage points on CCTV cameras and its accessories would help improve sales.
  • Just a year ago, the Commercial Taxes department had refused to bring the CCTVs and its peripherals under the 5.5% VAT slab stating that they were electronic gadgets and not Information Technology (IT) products.
  • A higher VAT of 14.5% is levied on electronic items as against 5.5% on IT products.
  • However, the department revisited its stand following the unprecedented demand from manufacturers and consumers alike.

Krishna Water: Karnataka Counters Telangana plea

  • The Centre on 17th November told the Supreme Court that Telangana’s share of Krishna waters must be provided from the allocation determined for Andhra Pradesh before its re-organisation.
  • Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy that Andhra Pradesh has to share water with the state of Telangana carved out of it.
  • His response came after the bench asked him for the stand of the Union government on the water dispute.
  • Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Telangana, contended that the state got only 12% of the river water despite having 25% of the population.
  • Referring to its writ petition, the Telangana counsel submitted that the state was seeking direction for making a reference to the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal and not its adjudication by the court itself.
  • Senior advocate F S Nariman, representing Karnataka, objected to the petition filed by Telangana.
  • Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have filed special leave petitions against the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II final award, while Telangana has filed a special leave petition as well as writ petition against the decision.
  • The court put the matter for further hearing on January 18.

Karnataka State Government Launches Mobile Units To Check Polluting Vehicles

  • To monitor vehicular pollution, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on 16th Nov launched 12 vehicles fitted with sophisticated emission monitoring equipment.
  • KSPCB chairman Lakshman said the vehicles are fitted with equipment to monitor three pollutants from vehicles smoke density from diesel vehicles, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in petrol vehicles.
  • The vehicles are fitted with equipment to monitor three categories of vehicular pollutants: smoke density from diesel vehicles; and carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in petrol vehicles.
  • Of the 12, eight will be posted to check the growing vehicular population in Bengaluru, while one each will be deployed in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Dharwad and Kalaburagi.
  • Vehicular emissions cause more than 42 per cent of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter pollution in the city, and more than two-thirds of the nitrous dioxide emissions.
  • Currently, emission testing is done primarily by the transport department based only on Pollution Under Control certificate (and often, motorists are allowed to go if the certificate is not produced).
  • Between March 2013 and April 2016, the transport department checked over 31.38 lakh vehicles and booked just 90,000 vehicles – or, barely 3 per cent considered as polluters.
  • Vehicular pollution monitoring checks will be conducted by the KSPCB, Transport department and Traffic police.
  • The vans having sophisticated machines will help to do on-the-spot vehicle checks as well as check the validity of the emission centres.
  • Even if someone produces PUC certificate, they can check if the values shown are correct & inspectors have the power to cancel the fitness certificates of “habitual offenders”.
  • Even Tier-II and III cities in the state are facing the problem, according to the KSPCB data. Tumkur, which is being promoted as an industrial hub, has seen a 96% increase in dust, while Hubli has seen a 33% increase in dust.
  • However, the government’s initiative comes “too little too late” as Bengaluru has crossed over 65 lakh vehicles and adds almost 1,500 new vehicles on the roads each day.
  • Other cities in India, particularly Delhi, have been grappling to curb pollution levels that have reached dangerous limits in recent times.
  • Earlier this month, Delhi’s pollution levels were 10 times over safe limits, another 41 Indian cities, with population of over 1 million, have bad air quality, according to the Central Pollution Control Board data

Indelible ink for banks will come from Mysuru

  • The Union government has ordered banks to use indelible ink on those swapping scrapped notes.
  • The Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd (MPVL), the only company authorised to manufacture the substance in the country, are working overtime to meet the huge demand.
  • The government has asked for vials of indelible ink, and production will begin on Wednesday, H A Venkatesh, chairman of the state government owned MPVL,.
  • The colour and quality of the ink will be on a par with that used in elections.
  • The government has to decide which finger banks should ink to avoid duplication, as elections were scheduled in some states in the coming months.
  • During the day, RBI officials from Bengaluru visited the MPVL and inspected samples of the indelible ink.

About The Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd

  • The company was established in 1937 by Nalwadi Krishnaraj Wadiyar, the then ruler of Mysuru, as Mysore Lac and Paint Works Limited, according to the MPVL’s general manager, C Harakumar. In 1962, the MPVL was selected to manufacture indelible ink.
  • Ever since, the company has been manufacturing the indelible ink and supplying it to the Election Commission of India, the National Physical Laboratory, the Union government and the National Research Development Corporation.
  • It got its present name in 1989. It also exports ink to Thailand, Singapore, Nigeria, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa.
  • Narendra Modi, while canvassing for the BJP during the general elections in Mysuru on April 8, 2014, had said that the MPVL was competent enough to manufacture the ink required to print notes, thus reducing the import and the stress on foreign exchange.

Karnataka High Court gets five new additional judges

  • The number of judges in the High Court of Karnataka has increased to 30, against the sanctioned strength of 62, with the swearing in of five additional judges on Monday. The appointments were made after 22 months.
  • Justices Kempaiah Somashekar, Kotravva Somappa Mudagal, Sreenivas Harish Kumar, John Michael Cunha, and Basavaraj Andanagouda Patil took oath as additional judges on their elevation to the High Court from the cadre of senior district judges.

About the Judges

  • Born in September 1963, Justice Somashekar, who hails from Chamarajanagar district, joined the judicial service as district judge in 1998 and served in different positions. He was serving as the Principal District and Sessions judge till his elevation.
  • Hailing from Haveri district, 53-year-old Justice Mudagal joined the judicial service in 1998. She served in various positions, including Principal Secretary, Law and Justice Department on deputation to the State government. She was serving as the Principal District and Sessions judge, Mysuru, till recently.
  • Born in June 1963, Justice Harish Kumar, who hails from Chickballapur district, joined the judicial service in 2002 and served in different districts. He was serving as the Director, Karnataka Judicial Academy, till recently.
  • Hailing from Mangaluru, 57-year-old Justice Cunha joined the judicial service in 2002 and served in many districts, besides being one of the judges of the Special Court, which had tried Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case. He had convicted her in the case but the High Court acquitted her by reversing his verdict. He was serving as Registrar General of the High Court till his elevation.
  • Born in January 1959, Justice Patil, who hails from Dharwad district, also served as special judge of the Lokayukta and CBI cases, besides as Registrar of administration, judicial, and Registrar General of the High Court. He was serving as Registrar (Vigilance) till his elevation.

e-Charak app – Forest dept gets set to check illegal supply of medicinal plants, Herb

  • Through the Android app launched by the Ministry of Ayush, the Karnataka State Medicinal Plants Authority (KaMPA) can check whether spices like cinnamon have been obtained from trees growing in the forest or on private land.
  • Most of the medical plants and herbs grown in the forests of Karnataka are illegally supplied to the market.
  • These plants and herbs are used in Ayurveda, Unani and other systems of herbal medicine.
  • Their demand ranges between one kg and two tonnes a year, U V Singh, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, KaMPA.
  • The app lists all the registered industries, plants and herbs that can be legally extracted, where the plants are available and what is their demand.

How will e-Charak app help?

  • It is designed to help industries and producers by eliminating middlemen.
  • It will also help the department know where spices like cinnamon are produced illegally in the guise of minor forest produce and how much.
  • The app is also useful in keeping tabs on the prices, he said. Many industries use herbs and medicinal plants that grow only in the forest.
  • The KaMPA is also preparing a detailed list of medicinal plants grown in the forest. Cinnamon is grown in the Western Ghats districts of Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga.
  • The KaMPA, which functions under the Forest Department, had written to 1,100 village forest committees, 200 industries and 60 farmers who grow medicinal plants and 20 LAMPS (Large-sized Adivasi Multi-Purpose Co-operative Societies) to register on the app.
  • It has completed listing plants grown in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Mandya, Bidar and Tumakuru, and is working on listing those grown in Chitradurga, Ballari, Koppal and Gadag.

Mahamastakabhisheka from Feb 7, 2018

  • The Mahamastakabhisheka for the statue of Gommateshwara in Shravanabelagola, held once in 12 years, will be conducted from February 7 to February 26, 2018.
  • This will be the second Mahamastakabhisheka of the century. The first one was held in 2006.
  • Shravanabelagola seer Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami announced the dates at a meeting held on Sunday.
  • Jain seers, elected representatives and devotees were present in the meeting.
  • The seer said that the rituals for the ceremony will begin on February 7 while the Mahamastakabhisheka will be performed on February 17. He said that cultural programmes will be held on all the 20 days of the mega event.
  • Hassan district in-charge Minister A Manju said that more than 30 lakh people were expected to take part in the event.

About Mahamastakabhisheka

  • The Mahamastakabhisheka (lit. grand consecration) is an important Jain festival held once every twelve years in the town of Shravanabelagola in Karnataka, India.
  • The festival is held in veneration of a 17.3736 metres (57.000 ft) high statue of the siddha Bahubali.
  • The anointing last took place in 2006, and the next ceremony is going to take place in 2018.
  • As the Mahamastakabhisheka begins, consecrated water is sprinkled onto the participants by devotees carrying 1,008 specially prepared vessels.
  • The statue is then bathed and anointed with libations such as milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste, and sprinkled with powders of sandalwood, turmeric, and vermilion.
  • Offerings are made of petals, gold and silver coins, and precious stones. Most recently, the ceremony’s finale has included an enormous shower of flowers from a waiting helicopter.
  • Purified water and sandalwood paste is poured over the statue from a scaffolding. This event continues for weeks.

Big hike likely in registration fees for real estate agents

  • Real estate agents operating in Bengaluru and other major cities of the state may have to shell out hefty sums to register themselves under the new Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016.
  • The state government has in its draft rules the Karnataka Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2016 — prepared for implementing the Act proposed to create two categories of real estate agents: those operating in the Bengaluru Metropolitan Region (BMR) jurisdiction and those in other planning areas outside the BMR jurisdiction.
  • Two separate slabs of registration and renewal fees have been proposed in the draft notified on October 24 this year.
  • Registration fee proposed for the agents in the BMR is higher compared to those operating in other places.
  • An individual agent has to pay Rs 50,000 as registration fee and Rs 5 lakh for a real estate company in the BMR It is Rs 25,000 for an individual outside the BMR jurisdiction and Rs 2.5 lakh for real estate entities.
  • The Centre has in its rules fixed Rs 10,000 for an individual agent and Rs 50,000 in case of real estate firms. The registration will be valid for five years.
  • However, there is no mention of registration fee for the projects in the draft copy. The Centre has fixed Rs 5 per square metre for up to 1,000 sq m area and Rs 10 per sq m beyond this limit.
  • The Real Estate Act envisages ensuring transparency and accountability in the sector. Except for the registration fee, the state government has adopted almost all the provisions of the rules notified by the Centre recently, including the rate of interest payable by the promoter to the allottee in case of refund or compensation.
  • Besides, there is ambiguity in the draft on jurisdiction of agents operating in Bengaluru.
  • The draft says the jurisdiction is within the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) jurisdiction. BMRDA includes six local planning authorities of BIAAPA, Nelamangala, Anekal, Hoskote, Kanakapura and Magadi.
  • But the BDA and the BBMP do not fall under the BMRDA jurisdiction. Official sources in the housing department, however, said it is the BMR jurisdiction.

Karnataka to review quota for backward classes in Panchayats & Municipalities

  • The Karnataka government has decided to revisit the present system of reservation provided to backward classes in panchayats and municipalities.
  • A committee, headed by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil, has been constituted to examine various aspects of reservations provided to backward classes in local bodies and recommend changes if required.
  • Ministers T B Jayachandra, H Anjaneya, R Roshan Baig, Eshwar Khandre and Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission chairman H Kantharaj, are among the other members, on the panel.
  • The committee will have to submit its report within 10 months.
  • The committee was constituted in September this year following a direction of the Supreme Court on a petition challenging the present system of reservation to backward classes in panchayat raj institutions and municipalities.
  • According to the present reservation system, seats in both urban and rural local bodies for SC/STs is fixed based on their population.
  • The OBC quota is divided into two categories. Backward Classes (A) category, comprising a majority of communities under the state OBC list, is provided 80% reservation, while Backward Classes (B) with dominant communities like Lingayats, Vokkaligas and Bunts, is provided the balance 20% reservation.
  • Rules stipulate only such candidates who are not income tax or sales tax assessees and who do not own more than 10 hectares of farmland, are eligible to contest under category BC(B). Besides, 50% seats in all categories are reserved for women.
  • The system had been challenged by the Karnataka Kurubara Sangha, which questioned the basis on which the quota had been fixed.

Geotechnical study for 23-km Shiradi bypass begins

  • The groundwork for preparing a detailed project report for the Shiradi bypass route has begun with the Union surface transport as well as forest and environment ministries giving it a go ahead.
  • Geoconsult, a Delhi-based engineering consultancy, has begun the geotechnical study in the Shiradi Ghat section.
  • The plan is to construct a 23-km bypass with six lanes. The outcome of the study will be one of the major deciding factors for fixing the alignment.
  • The bypass, with both tunnels and bridges, will run parallel to the existing National Highway 48 in some stretches and in some patches, it would be closer to the railway line.
  • The new route is planned to overcome the present hurdles for smooth movement of vehicles on the highway which connects Bengaluru and Mangaluru.
  • The crucial clearance from the Centre for carrying out the assessment to prepare the project report was given recently.
  • Digging earth bores to extract rock samples is being carried out all along the alignment fixed for the study. The bypass alignment being explored now is planned from Gundya (near Devagiri forest) to Marnhalli (near St Antony’s Church) via Aluvalli, on the left side of the highway from Bengaluru to Mangaluru.
  • The consultant has recommended three alignments, of which, one is being selected for the study. The final decision on the route would be taken only after the detailed project report (DPR) is accepted by the surface transport ministry. Officials who are closely associated with the project are confident that the DPR would be ready by next March.
  • Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has shown interest in lending money for this cost-intensive project.
  • The rough estimate for the 23-km project with bridges and tunnels would be not less than Rs 12,500 crore. This also means that the cost of each km would be not less than Rs 540 crore. The survey report itself will cost Rs 6 crore.

Rotary, Minto to start eye-screening centres in rural Karnataka

  • The Rotary International under its Vision 2020 project has collaborated with Minto Ophthalmic Hospital, Bengaluru,to meet shortage of opthalmologists in rural areas.
  • Specialists at the Minto Hospital would train technicians who would be posted at the proposed vision screening centres. Technicians (not opthalmologists) would be trained to operate the Fundus Camera with anterior segment photography. They will click images of the patients’ eyes and send them to doctors in speciality hospitals and, reports are generated. If required, patients would be asked to visit the hospital for treatment.
  • Patients can get their eyes checked free of cost at these centres, which would be linked to hospitals where one can avail of free treatment. The equipment for the centres has been procured and training of technicians will begin soon.
  • As part of the project, a Fundus Camera would be placed at four centres. To begin with, centres will be set up at Kanakapura in Ramanagaram district and Jigani in Bengaluru Urban district, which will be linked to Vittala Institute of Opthalmology and, Shidlaghatta in Chikkaballapur district and Maddur in Mandya district that will be linked to Drishti Eye Care.

Govt planning to grant official status to Kannada flag

  • The Karnataka government is contemplating grant of official status to the Kannada flag.
  • The Kannada flag, rectangular in shape, with a strip of yellow (top half) and red in equal measure, symbolises Kannada and Karnataka.
  • The flag was first conceived by Bengaluru-based social activist M Ramamurthy, who used it as a flag for a party founded by him “Kannada Paksha” in 1965.
  • The Kannada Development Authority in 1998 did recommend that official status be granted to the Kannada flag. However, the law department turned down the proposal citing legal hurdles.
  • In 2012, the then BJP government issued a circular making it compulsory for government offices, schools and colleges to hoist the Kannada flag on November 1.
  • However, a division bench of the Karnataka high court questioned the government’s move to hoist any flag other than the national flag. The circular was subsequently withdrawn.

Karnataka: Law to curtail planting of saplings that causes Eco Damage

  • The Karnataka government took the legislation route to curtail planting of saplings that have adverse effect on environment and ground water.
  • The Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed the Karnataka Preservation of Trees (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that provides for regulating the planting and cultivation of saplings which cause ecological damage and erode soil fertility.
  • The bill, piloted by Forest Minister Ramanath Rai, also provides for the government to regulate planting of saplings which support and hosts pests.
  • However, the bill has not named any specific species that are harmful to nature and should be banned from cultivation.
  • The state government, through a circular in 2012, had banned planting of acacia and eucalyptus as these two species caused environmental damage. However, there was no effectively implementation of the circular.

How Eucalyptus Tree causes Eco Damage

  • Eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus spp.) are native to Australia, but have adapted to climates all over the world thanks to their shallow root system, and grow in India.
  • These trees have a shallow root system, which developed as a way to survive in a harsh native environment, where accessing a limited amount of rainfall is crucial to survival. It’s this shallow root system that can make eucalyptus trees a danger.
  • About 90 percent of a eucalyptus tree’s roots grow in the top 12 inches of soil. This shallow root system grows rapidly, and along with a strong taproot, the lateral roots are vital to keeping a eucalyptus tree upright.
  • A eucalyptus tree’s taproot must grow down into the soil at least 6 feet to ensure good anchorage. The lateral roots spread out for up to 100 feet to help support the rest of the tree, and this can be an issue for nearby buildings and structures.
  • The roots and rootlets of eucalyptus trees planted in a yard can grow into ditches, clog water pipes, and crack septic tanks and cisterns. The roots of eucalyptus trees planted in an urban environment can damage sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
  • As the shallow eucalyptus roots grow and produce secondary thickening growth, they can heave up paved surfaces above and around them.

Karnataka: Lower House passes bill to regulate Ayush practitioners

  • To crackdown on the menace of fake AYUSH doctors, registration of Ayurvedic, Naturopathy, Siddha, Unani, and Yoga practitioners has been made mandatory in the State.
  • The Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that makes registration compulsory for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Naturopathy and Siddha (Ayush) practitioners.
  • The Karnataka Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Siddha, Unani and Yoga Practitioners Registration and Medical Practitioners Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to regulate these practitioners. Registered practitioners will be issued an  ID card, which should be compulsorily displayed at their clinics.
  • According to the provisions of the bill, unregistered practitioners will be punished with a fine that may extend to Rs 20,000 for the first offence and Rs 2 lakh fine and imprisonment of one year for the second offence and a fine of Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment for three years for the subsequent offence.
  • The Assembly also passed a bill that proposes to expand the authority of the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to give administrative approval for projects up to Rs 10 crore without bringing it before the Cabinet.
  • Hitherto, the BWSSB had the authority to clear projects up to Rs 1 crore.
  • The House passed a bill, which provides for allowing tapping of neera, the sweet sap from coconut trees. The Karnataka Excise (amendment) Bill, 2016 also provide for promoting byproducts of neera such as palm jaggery and palm sugar to help farmers increase their revenue.
  • The Assembly passed the Karnataka Good Samaritan and Medical Professional (Protection and Regulation during Emergency situations) Bill, 2016 that seeks to provide protection to ‘Good Samaritans’ and medical professionals who help accident victims from civil and criminal liabilities.
  • In the Legislative Council, Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddy said  the government is mulling over bringing in Karnataka Universities Comprehensive Act in the next legislature session to ensure uniformity in administration and monitoring of the varsities and colleges in the state.
  • During a discussion on a bill that proposes to change the name of Karnataka State Women’s University after 12th century social reformer Akkamahadevi, the minister said the government intends in bringing a comprehensive legislation for all the state universities. A committee headed by former Vice Chancellor  of Bangalore University N R Shetty has submitted its report in this regard.

What is “Ayush”

  • The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, abbreviated as AYUSH, is a governmental body in India purposed with developing, education and research in ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy, Sowa-rigpa (Traditional Tibetan medicine), and other Indigenous Medicine systems.
  • The department was created in March 1995 as the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H). AYUSH received its current name in March 2003. That time it was operated under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH was formed with effect from 9 November 2014 by elevation of the Department of AYUSH.
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its election manifesto, said it would increase public investment to promote AYUSH and start Integrated Courses for Indian system of Medicines and Modern Medicine.
  • Ayush is also a common Hindu given name, derived from Sanskrit, meaning “life”.

Mysuru press churning out Rs 3 cr currency per day

  • The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) — the Reserve Bank of India’s currency printing press in Mysuru, has been printing currency notes worth Rs 3 crore every day.
  • In order to address the problem of change, the press has been according priority to notes of Rs 500 denomination.
  • The BRBNMPL has been directed to increase the output, by working 24 hours a day. The staffers have been told to work in two shifts.
  • At present, more than 600 workers are involved in printing of notes. The press staffers, who were working five days a week, have been putting in six days of work for the past three months.
  • The new notes of Rs 500 denomination were being printed at the press units in Nashik (Maharashtra) and Dewas (Madhya Pradesh). Both these units are maintained by the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India.
  • However, the responsibility has now been transferred to the Mysuru unit, following technical problem and low-capacity of the Nashik and Dewas units.
  • As many as 120 soldiers of Assam Regiment have also been deputed to the Mysuru press for boosting production. They are assisting the press staffers in feeding currency paper into the machines and packing.

First pay day after demonetisation

  • Banks faced the brunt of public frustration again as customers found themselves standing in long lines to withdraw cash after November salaries were credited to accounts.
  • As banks ran out of notes, people waited at automated teller machines but struck out there too as supplies to cash dispensers were down to a fifth of required levels, according to bankers, who said a lack of new Rs 500 notes was worsening the situation.
  • With demonetisation leading to a currency crisis in the country, the first pay day after the move has led to speculations on how the government is going to handle the cash distrubution.
  • The Centre has asked all employers and contractors to ensure that wages are paid to all employees, including casual and contract workers, through cheques or electronic transfers into a bank account.
  • The Chief Labour Commissioner, under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has also asked firms to get bank accounts opened for all those workers who do not have one already, and report on the compliance status with the details of the new bank accounts opened by December 2.

Mid-Year Review Shows State Cash Happy

  • Revenue surplus is Rs. 8,751 cr. in the first six months of financial year 2016-17
  • Karnataka has a comfortable cash position and there is no need to avail loans from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), according to the Mid-Year Review of State Finances 2016-17.
  • During the first six months of the financial year 2016-17, the revenue surplus was Rs. 8,751 crore as compared with the budget estimate of Rs. 522 crore, reflecting a comfortable mid-year revenue position.
  • The revenue surplus would be maintained at the end of FY 2016-17.
  • The report, which was tabled in the State Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, said that during the first half of FY 2016-17 due to the reasonably comfortable cash position, there was no necessity to avail Special Ways and Means Allowances (SWMA) or Normal Ways and Means Allowances (NWMA) from RBI.
  • When there is a mismatch in the cash flow of the receipts and payments, the State government avails loans in the form of SWMA/NWMA from RBI. The RBI makes payments for 90 days.

Demonetisation Impact

  • The Fiscal Management Review Committee headed by the Chief Secretary has advised the Finance Department to closely study the impact of demonetisation and take necessary steps.
  • The committee noted that the sale of IML was less than estimated and hence it had advised the Excise Department to make efforts to ensure collection of excise dues as projected.
  • With a likely decline in devolution of funds from the Centre for centrally-sponsored schemes, the State has to bear the additional funds out of its own resources.
  • Hence, the panel recommended a close watch on the receipts from the Centre for the rest of the year and advised departments to follow-up with respective ministries.
  • It stated that during the first half of 2016-17, revenue surplus was Rs. 8,751 crore with the revenue receipts of Rs. 63,373 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs. 54, 622 crore. “Thus there is a favourable mid-year balance.”
  • The mid-year review suggested a balanced approach while deciding on enhancing outlays. The total revenue receipts of the State during the first half of the year 2016-17 were recorded at Rs. 63,373 crore. Receipts during the first half of the year was around Rs. 16.94 per cent more when compared with that of the corresponding period of 2015-16.

Rural Wi-Fi for ‘digital inclusion’ of village entrepreneurs

  • The Karnataka government on Monday launched rural Wi-Fi services in 11 gram panchayats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah saying such a ‘digital inclusion’ will give village-level entrepreneurs ready access to online market place for their products and services.
  • He also launched the “Grand Challenge Karnataka”, an initiative under the multi-sector Start-up Policy to scout for new technologies or innovations that can offer solutions to some of the prevalent problems in the state.
  • At the inauguration of Bengaluru ITE.Biz 2016, an annual IT event, Siddaramaiah said with “digital inclusion becoming the most important parameter of growth and economic development”, it is the intention of the government to see that the last mile connectivity is provided in all villages.
  • “For this we will be banking on the availability of National Optic Fibre Network up to the Gram Panchayat level,” he added.
  • The gram panchayats benefitting from the Wi-Fi initiative include two each in Mysuru, Tumkuru, Gadag, Ballari and Kalburgi and one in Bagalkot district.
  • The rural population in these gram panchayats can make use of the services by buying concessional Wi-Fi vouchers.
  • The impact of digital inclusion will be manifold which would enable village-level entrepreneurs ready access to online market place and have opportunity to explore new markets for their products and services.
  • The chief minister also called for gender equality, saying, “it is a fact that achieving gender equality would have large economic impact. IT sector has enabled significant number of women to join the work space, but more needs to be done.”
  • Siddaramaiah said, “Grand Challenge Karnataka aims to channelise innovations for social impact and in the process support the establishment and growth of start-ups.”
  • The government has approved a proposal to set up six common instrumentation centres across the state which will provide opportunity to electronic hardware startups and MSMEs to have easy access to high quality instrumentation facilities for fine-tuning their products.
  • The IT and BT department is in the process of setting up a finishing school in Animation and Visual Effects in association with Industry bodies
  • The government was contemplating setting up centres of excellence in aerospace, cyber security and other related areas to provide high-end skilling in areas of emerging technologies.
  • Government has been augmenting industrial infrastructure in two-tier and three tier cities.
  • The state also intends to support setting up of technology business incubators in the potential areas of Internet of Things, Electronics System Design and manufacturing, Robotics, 3D Printing, Nanotechnology, Medical devices, Health technology and Clean technology, in phases across the state.

Mysuru Railway Division Intensifies Track Patrolling

  • The Mysuru Division of South Western Railways has initiated additional precautionary measures to beef up rail safety following the recent train accident near Kanpur that claimed nearly 150 lives.
  • This includes early morning foot patrolling to detect flaws on tracks, besides deputing supervisors on trains to identify any noise during movement of trains.

Additional Patrolling

  • Divisional Railway Manager Atul Gupta said that some of the measures are in addition to the built-in safety inspection protocols that are already in place across the Indian Railway system, and are being rigorously implemented.
  • Underlining the importance of detecting faults and fractures on tracks, Mr. Gupta said these tend to manifest more during winters as a result of difference in day and night temperature.
  • Supervisors who move from coach to coach and those in the locomotive ensure that the level of alertness of the ground staff is high.
  • There was a system in place to replace old coaches that have operated for nearly 25 years. As many as seven coaches were replaced in the Mysuru Division in May this year, Mr. Gupta said.
  • Senior divisional safety officer Venkateshwar Rao said there are six Ultrasonic Flaw Detecting equipments attached to six teams stationed at Arsikere Junction, from where periodical checks and inspections are conducted as per their programmed protocol across the division.
  • These equipment help detect minor flaws and issue an alert to reduce the speed of trains on that section till the repairs are carried out.
  • Some of these safety measures are a regular and ongoing feature and in case of a minor defect or flaw in the rails, then precautionary measures are taken.

Foot Patrolling

  • The division has about 1,200-km of track which are monitored regularly for rail fracture and minor defects.
  • But, it is foot patrol on a daily basis keyman patrolling that is important.
  • During winter, keyman patrolling duties start from as early as 5.30 a.m. as rail fractures take place mostly during this time.

Types of Patrolling

kpsc-upsc-ias-ips(a) Keyman’s daily patrol.

(b) Gang patrol during abnormal rainfall or storm.

(c) Night patrolling during monsoon.

(d) Security patrolling during civil disturbances and for movement of VIP specials.

(e) Hot weather patrolling for long welded rails/ continuous welded rails.

(f) Watchmen at vulnerable locations.

Hubballi-Dharwad to host State Olympics Games from Feb. 3

  • The twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad will host the State Level Olympics Games from February 3 to 10 and 275 gold, silver and bronze medals each would be awarded in as many events to be held during the mega sports event.
  • The event is being jointly conducted by the Karnataka State Olympics Association and the Department of Youth Services and Sports.
  • Chairing a preparatory meeting here on Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the State Level Olympics Games was first held in Bagalkot in 1987 and then, in Mandya and Mysuru in 2007-08.
  • Subsequently, after eight years, the event was being conducted in Hubballi-Dharwad, which meant the event was being conducted in North Karnataka after 30 years, he said.
  • Mr. Siddaramaiah said that competitions would be conducted in different categories of 25 sports events and only archery and shooting competitions would be held in Bengaluru.
  • He said that the State government had allocated Rs. 3 crore and directed the officials to make arrangements for food and accommodation for 5,000 sports persons and 1,000 coaches, referees and officials. As many as 11 sub-committees have been formed. Ministers Pramod Madhwaraj, Basavaraj Rayaraddi, Vinay Kulkarni, Santosh Lad and MLC Basavaraj Horatti will head various committees. The officials of various departments will be the members of these sub-committees.
  • Ministers Pramod Madhwaraj, K.J. Goerge, Vinay Kulkarni and MLC Basavaraj Horatti were present.

State schools to follow existing syllabus in 2017-18

  • Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Tanveer Sait said the existing syllabus would be continued in primary and high schools of the state board during the academic year 2017-18.
  • Responding to questions raised by Arun Shahapur and Somanna Bevinamarad (both BJP) in the Legislative Council, Sait said that the Centre is in the process of implementing the new education policy.
  • It is also not advisable to change the syllabus at a time when the National Curriculum Framework (NCF-2012) is being implemented.
  • Earlier, Shahapur questioned the functioning of the committee headed by Prof Baragur Ramachandrappa, which had been formed a couple of years ago to suggest changes to the syllabus for Classes 1 to 10. He said the committee has not even submitted its interim report to the government.
  • Sait said the revision of the syllabus is in the final stages, and the committee would submit its report in the second week of December. The present syllabus is being revised to enable students to be better prepared to take up the Common Entrance Test and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test.
  • The minister also clarified that the government is not shutting down schools despite shortage of students.
  • Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayaraddy told the Council that a meeting will be convened in Bengaluru to discuss the provision of notional pay to teachers and lecturers of grant-in-aid schools and colleges, after the conclusion of the ongoing legislature session.
  • Earlier, V S Sankanur (BJP) criticised the government for the delay in paying notional pay to teachers. Not satisfied with the government’s reply, the Opposition members staged a dharna. They also opposed the government’s decision not to withdraw the writ appeal filed in court, challenging the quashing of the Karnataka Educational Institutions Employees (Regulation of Pay, Pension and other Benefits) Act, 2014, which had gone in favour of the Karnataka private educational institutions employees.
  • Conditional assentRayareddy said the government had given a conditional assent to implementing notional pay, if the financial burden on the government did not exceed Rs 285 crore. However, the financial burden on the exchequer would be Rs 5,081 crore.

Karnataka will launch special drive to curb narcotics menace

  • Home Minister G Parameshwara said that a special drive would be launched throughout the state to check the narcotics menace.
  • Responding to a calling attention notice tabled by Ramachandra Gowda (BJP) in the Legislative Council, Parameshwara said that Karnataka is no match to Punjab, which stood first in the country in the number of drug abuse cases recorded.
  • While Karnataka had registered 0.6% of drug abuse cases in the country, Punjab had registered 36% of such cases.
  • However, the statistics furnished by the minister shows an upward trend in the cases recorded in Karnataka.
  • In 2014, while 42 cases were registered, 83 people were arrested; in 2015 as many as 69 cases were registered and 141 people were arrested. This year, till October, 234 persons were arrested in 93 cases.
  •  Parameshwara said that special cells had been created in Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Belagavi to check the sale of narcotics.
  • The cell had been set up to nab drug peddlers and pharma companies manufacturing narcotics. As many as 45 special police stations had been assigned to check drug trafficking.
  • The minister said that it had come to light that small pharma units have been set up on the outskirts of Bengaluru, where chemical-based drugs were being manufactured, which were being sold to users in other states and also exported.
  • It had also come to fore that chemical-based drugs were sold to youths and schoolchildren in larger numbers, as opposed to plant-based narcotics.
  • V S Ugrappa (Congress) said that drug abuse was highly prevalent in Bengaluru, with localities such as HSR Layout having become havens for drug users. He said that the police were unable to check the menace despite regular patrolling.
  • Stating that as many as 1,500 African students from Nigeria and Tanzania were overstaying in the state, Parameshwara said that the government is ensuring that they were all being deported.

Drug Abuse in Bangalore

  • The growing number of drug rackets busted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Bengaluru, in the last two years is a clear indication of rampant drug abuse in the IT city. In 2014, NCB Bengaluru, busted eight drug rackets.
  • The number went up to 17 in 2015, as per the data available with the agency. The concern was discussed in a meeting at NCB’s head office in Delhi too, a senior official looking after operations told Youth Ki Awaaz.
  • According to NCB officials, youngsters are more vulnerable to drug addiction. Drug peddlers know this and prey mostly on them.
  • For the record, Bengaluru with a huge floating population, is infamous as the ‘drug capital’ of south India.
  •  On the basis of raids conducted by the NCB, the drug most popular among Bengaluru’s youth is LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide also known as acid), followed by hashish, ecstasy pills,ganja, heroin, cocaine and MDMA, a pure form of ecstasy that goes by the street name ‘molly’.

Social Media & Social Stigma

  • To counter the drug menace, NCB, Bengaluru decided to take its fight public back in June 2014 and launched a Facebook page for the same. The move was intended to reach out to the tech-savvy young population of the city and create awareness on drug abuse.
  • On the feedback received on Facebook, Sinha claims, “A lot of people have shared important information about drug rackets, traffickers and users over phone after following us on our Facebook page.
  • There is, however, a downside to creating awareness in the virtual world. Experts working for rehabilitation of addicts say online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could prove counter-productive.

Karnataka Hakki Habba (Bird Festival) in January

  • The third edition of the Karnataka Hakki Habba (bird festival) will be celebrated at Daroji Karadi Dhama, near Hampi, on January 5, 6 and 7. The first two festivals were held in Mysuru and Uttara Kannada districts.
  • The winged beauties in particular will be studied and observed during the third edition of Karnataka Bird Festival, to be held in JSW Interpretation Centre, Daroji Bear Sanctuary, near Kamalapur.
  • The Karnataka forest department and Eco Tourism Board are organising the event.
  • The first two editions were organised at Ranganathittu bird sanctuary and Kali Tiger Reserve while the third edition was planned at Magadi lake in Gadag district.
  • However, it was shifted to Hampi due to less water in Magadi lake and less migratory birds following the failure of monsoon in the region
  • The varied landscape of Hampi rocky boulders, small lakes, Tungabhadra reservoir, canals, dry scrub jungle all provide the ideal habitat for birds.
  • A large number of winter migratory birds such as flamingos and sandpipers come to Hampi every year. Even the Great Indian Bustard, a highly endangered species has been sighted in Ballari district.
  • Mr Samad Kottur who had captured Hampi-bound birds in his book, Birds of Hampi, said it is the result of over a decade’s observation of birds and will give details of the birds with places they can sighted to help  bird watchers.
  • Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International have selected Hampi as an Important Bird Area (IBA) as it has a significant population of the yellow-throated bulbul, a globally threatened species.
  • The Bird Festival aims to provide a platform for well-known naturalists, experts, forest officers, bird photographers to share their insights & thoughts. This festival focuses on putting bird conservation at center-stage.
  • Some of the highlights are a bird photo exhibition, workshops on bird photography, guided bird-watching walks and lectures by naturalists.
  • Daroji Karadi Dhama is also the biggest sloth bear sanctuary in Asia, with rich flora and fauna.
  • Over 200 bird species have already been recorded in and around Daroji and the district has been a haven for migratory birds including Great Indian Bustards, flamingos, and bar-headed geese.
  • The festival is being organised by the Department of Forest and the Karnataka Eco-Tourism Development Board, in association with the local birdwatchers’ association, according to S.K. Arun, amateur wildlife photographer and honorary district wildlife warden.
  • Many experts are expected to participate in the festival and interact with the participants.
  • Apart from lectures, there will be panel discussions, an exhibition of bird photographs, with stress on birds and wildlife in and around Daroji, bird walks and the like.
  • To motivate people to take up bird-watching and photography, there will be sessions by experts who will give tips on how to identify birds and take photographs.

Karnataka Govt to introduce public health courses for non-medical staff

  • The state government is all set to introduce postgraduate and short-term courses in public health for non-medical staff working in various government hospitals across the state.
  • The Department of Health and Family Welfare has sought that the Indian Institute of Public Health, under the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), start these courses in Public Health and Management in Bengaluru.
  • At present, the institute is offering a postgraduate training programme for medical officers in batches. So far, 104 doctors have undergone the training at the institute since 2011.
  • The new training will be conducted for selected non-medical staff such as paramedics, nurses, ground-level health workers such as Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Link Workers.
  • According to a top official at the Indian Institute of Public Health, the training would be intended to ensure better implementation of various health schemes, with emphasis on preventive health care.
  • Under the National Health Mission, several programmes have been launched. Not all doctors, nurses and paramedics are trained in the implementation of these. Public health is something particular to a specified area and needs to be understood well. The training intends to offer the same.
  • For instance, the city is witnessing a relapse of the dengue epidemic. Then, public health experts can look at the reasons behind the relapse and suggest measures to be put in place. Hence, educating the staff in this regard would benefit the government, with cost effectiveness being one aspect of it.
  • Training would be offered to staff from both the Ayush department and those working under the Department of Health and Family Welfare. Among the other courses, the institute would offer Master’s and PhD programmes in Public Health, and Clinical Research.

Karnataka – Govt Slashes Tax On CCTV Cameras To Increase Surveillance

  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and its peripherals are all set to become cheaper with the Commercial Taxes department slashing the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on the products from 14.5% to 5.5%.
  • The low compliance with the directions of enforcement agencies to mandatory install CCTV cameras in schools, jewellery shops and establishments has prompted the state government to slash the VAT rate on these electronic security gadgets, in a bid to boost their sales.
  • The slash is applicable for VAT levied on CCTV cameras and accessories such as recording devices, cables, power supplies and racks.
  • The police had first made it mandatory for installation of CCTV cameras in jewellery shops following a spate of thefts and robberies in showrooms.
  • The installation of the gadgets was made mandatory in public transport vehicles following the gang-rape in  Delhi in 2012.
  • Over the past few years, installation of CCTV cameras have been made mandatory at schools in order to ensure safety of children; at all ATM kiosks (following the attack on a woman inside the money vending kiosk of a nationalised bank in the heart of Bengaluru in 2014) and crowded public places among others.
  • Sources in the finance department said the move to reduce VAT rate on CCTVs was taken at the instance of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah following representations from various organisations and associations that the higher tax slab on the devices was making them un-affordable.
  • According to those dealing with the CCTV camera market, the devices along with their accessories are priced at Rs 85,000 and above (high-end with intra-red 16 cameras) to middle range units costing around Rs 27,000 and basic models Rs 2,100 (single units), excluding the installation charges.
  • The dealers pointed out that there are a lot of enquiries but a majority of them did not convert into sales.
  • The finance department officials feel the reduction in VAT rate by nine percentage points on CCTV cameras and its accessories would help improve sales.
  • Just a year ago, the Commercial Taxes department had refused to bring the CCTVs and its peripherals under the 5.5% VAT slab stating that they were electronic gadgets and not Information Technology (IT) products.
  • A higher VAT of 14.5% is levied on electronic items as against 5.5% on IT products.
  • However, the department revisited its stand following the unprecedented demand from manufacturers and consumers alike.

Krishna Water: Karnataka Counters Telangana plea

  • The Centre on 17th November told the Supreme Court that Telangana’s share of Krishna waters must be provided from the allocation determined for Andhra Pradesh before its re-organisation.
  • Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy that Andhra Pradesh has to share water with the state of Telangana carved out of it.
  • His response came after the bench asked him for the stand of the Union government on the water dispute.
  • Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for Telangana, contended that the state got only 12% of the river water despite having 25% of the population.
  • Referring to its writ petition, the Telangana counsel submitted that the state was seeking direction for making a reference to the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal and not its adjudication by the court itself.
  • Senior advocate F S Nariman, representing Karnataka, objected to the petition filed by Telangana.
  • Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have filed special leave petitions against the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II final award, while Telangana has filed a special leave petition as well as writ petition against the decision.
  • The court put the matter for further hearing on January 18.

Karnataka State Government Launches Mobile Units To Check Polluting Vehicles

  • To monitor vehicular pollution, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on 16th Nov launched 12 vehicles fitted with sophisticated emission monitoring equipment.
  • KSPCB chairman Lakshman said the vehicles are fitted with equipment to monitor three pollutants from vehicles smoke density from diesel vehicles, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in petrol vehicles.
  • The vehicles are fitted with equipment to monitor three categories of vehicular pollutants: smoke density from diesel vehicles; and carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in petrol vehicles.
  • Of the 12, eight will be posted to check the growing vehicular population in Bengaluru, while one each will be deployed in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Dharwad and Kalaburagi.
  • Vehicular emissions cause more than 42 per cent of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter pollution in the city, and more than two-thirds of the nitrous dioxide emissions.
  • Currently, emission testing is done primarily by the transport department based only on Pollution Under Control certificate (and often, motorists are allowed to go if the certificate is not produced).
  • Between March 2013 and April 2016, the transport department checked over 31.38 lakh vehicles and booked just 90,000 vehicles – or, barely 3 per cent considered as polluters.
  • Vehicular pollution monitoring checks will be conducted by the KSPCB, Transport department and Traffic police.
  • The vans having sophisticated machines will help to do on-the-spot vehicle checks as well as check the validity of the emission centres.
  • Even if someone produces PUC certificate, they can check if the values shown are correct & inspectors have the power to cancel the fitness certificates of “habitual offenders”.
  • Even Tier-II and III cities in the state are facing the problem, according to the KSPCB data. Tumkur, which is being promoted as an industrial hub, has seen a 96% increase in dust, while Hubli has seen a 33% increase in dust.
  • However, the government’s initiative comes “too little too late” as Bengaluru has crossed over 65 lakh vehicles and adds almost 1,500 new vehicles on the roads each day.
  • Other cities in India, particularly Delhi, have been grappling to curb pollution levels that have reached dangerous limits in recent times.
  • Earlier this month, Delhi’s pollution levels were 10 times over safe limits, another 41 Indian cities, with population of over 1 million, have bad air quality, according to the Central Pollution Control Board data

Karnataka: Township for legislators, Secretariat staff

  • The state legislature has proposed to develop an exclusive township in Bengaluru for the benefit of legislators and staff of both the Legislative Assembly and the Council Secretariats.
  • Legislative Assembly Secretary S Murthy has recently written to Revenue department Principal Secretary I V Ramana Reddy, urging him to allot 100 acres of land at Kadugodi plantation in Bengaluru.
  • However, the state legislature is yet to prepare a detailed project report for developing the proposed township.
  • Kadugodi plantation belonged to Forest department (711 acres ) till recently. The entire land was transferred to the Revenue department recently as per the orders of the Karnataka High Court.

Grand Plans

  • The legislature plans to construct guesthouses for the Assembly Speaker and the Council Chairman and chairpersons of various standing committees, a club house for recreation and a garden.
  • Assembly Speaker K B Koliwad has already held a meeting with principal secretary to Revenue department in this regard, official sources in the Assembly said.
  • They said the plan is still in preliminary stages and the details would be worked out once the government agrees to give the land.

Proposals for expansion of Belagavi, Hubballi & Mysuru airports

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation has received proposals for the expansion and facelift of airports in Belagavi, Hubballi and Mysuru, the government.
  • In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received 364 acres of land at Belagavi, 588 acres at Hubballi and 142 acres at Mysuru from the state against the projected requirement of 370 acres, 600 acres and 310 acres respectively.
  • AAI has commenced the work on extension and strengthening of the runway, taxiways and isolation bay and construction of the new terminal building, ATC tower-cum-fire station, sub-station, new apron, boundary wall and associated work at Belagavi Airport.
  • The AAI has recently constructed a new Doppler VHF Omni Directional Range (DVOR) building and Non-directional beacon (NDB) building at Hubballi airport. AAI has also commenced the work on extension, strengthening and widening of runway, taxiways and isolation bay and construction of new terminal building, ATC tower-cum-technical block-cum-fire station, sub-station, new apron and other ancillary buildings and services, including the perimeter road.
  • The AAI has appointed IIT Delhi as a consultant for preparation of a detailed project report for the runway extension work at Mysuru airport.

Nagabharana’s Allama among seven vying for Gandhi medal at IFFI

  • Filmmaker T S Nagabharana’s Allama has been nominated for this year’s prestigious International Council for Film, Television and Audio-visual Communication (ICFT)-Unesco Gandhi Medal.
  • Allama, which features in the Indian Panorama Section, at the 47th International Film Festival of India, at Goa, has seven other films in contention for coveted award.
  • They are the Dutch film A Real Vermeer by Rudolph van de Berg, Iranian film Beluga by Mehdi Jafri, Turkey-Hungarian film Cold of Kalandar by Mustafa Kara, Latvian film Exiled by Davis Simanis Jr, Israeli feature Harmonia by Ori Sivan, Canadian-Chinese-Korean film The Apology by Tiffany Hsiung and French-Spain-German film The Family: Dementia by Giovanna Ribes.
  • The medal is awarded to a film which best reflects Gandhian ideals of peace, tolerance and non-violence.

About Nagabharana’s Allama

  • Nagabharana’s Allama is period-musical biopic on 12th C philosopher Allama Prabhu, famed for his vachanas and teachings and whose quest for knowledge helps him question social practices and overcome his weakness.
  • How Allama, who is born to a temple dancer, embarks on an inner quest for knowledge seeking answers to his core constituents towards self-realisation, his evolution to attaining the stature of Prabhu, forms the film’s fulcrum.
  • According to Nagabharana, if one were to pay tribute to one’s culture and language, one needs to draw inspiration from treasures of one’s rich history.

How Nagabharana’s Allama was made

  • Nagabharana has researched Allama for over two years and fine-tuned the script 23 times.
  • Cinematographer G S Bhaskar has given it visual conception with Shashidhar Hadappa and Appayya as art directors and Bapu Padmanabha, disciple of Hariprasad Chauraisa, providing its music.
  • The story is written by Siddagangaiah Kambal with M S Sridhar Murthy and Sripathi Manjanabail chipping in. Meghana Raj plays Maya Devi, a beautiful and strongwilled woman.

Demonetisation affects tourism industry in city of palaces

  • Mysuru’s famed tourism industry and its ancillary sectors have been badly hit by the demonetisation, with popular destinations such as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and Mysuru Palace reporting as much as 50% drop in the footfall.
  • On November 9, the first day of demonetisation, the zoo accepted the scrapped notes of 500- and 1,000-rupee denomination.
  • The crowds surged and the zoo had to be closed for a couple of hours. When the zoo reopened, it refused to accept the scrapped notes, and issued tickets to people who paid by card or tendered exact change. The footfall dropped drastically.
  • A week later, on November 16, a total of 4,404 people, including 334 (8%) children, visited the zoo. This was far lower than the average footfall of 8,000-10,000 on other days.
  • The famed Mysuru Palace saw a staggering 80% drop in footfall on November 13 when just 11,677 people turned up. The average footfall on any day during this time of the year is 50,000. A source in the Mysore Palace Board attributed the tepid footfall to demonetisation.
  • The Dasara exhibition, which begins during the famed festival and lasts for 90 days, has also been affected by the demonetisation. With most of the people lining up outside banks and ATMs, the number of visitors to the Dasara exhibition grounds has dropped drastically.
  • Each visitor needs low-denomination currency to not only pay the entry fee of Rs 40 but also buy products at the stalls. Shopkeepers, who earlier suffered losses due to the unrest over Cauvery, are now complaining about how the demonetisation has dented the sales.
  • The authority has introduced online booking but it has few takers. Most of the visitors still buy the ticket at the counter, and need to tender exact change. Kumar hoped that the situation would improve at the coming weekend.
  • Mysuru’s hospitality and restaurant business has also been badly affected. Small eateries, restaurants, fast food joints and hotels have recorded a dip in business. Upmarket restaurants and hotels, too, have suffered as they are seeing mostly foreign tourists.

6th pay commission for Karnataka employees to be set up in 2017-18 -state

  • The sixth State pay commission would be set up in the 2017-18 budget, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in the Legislative Council.
  • Siddaramaiah said during question hour that there was a disparity between central and Karnataka government employees’ pay scales.
  • He said the working conditions of central and state governments differ, adding, the state governments cannot formulate pay-scale on par with central government’s.
  • The state government has so far constituted five pay commissions and two official pay committees.
  • The chief minister gave a combined reply to a question by Ramachandra Gowda, Capt.Ganesh Karnik, Arun Shahaur and Mahantesh Kavatagimath, all BJP.
  • Congress’ V.S.Ugrappa wanted to know the wages liability. The chief minister, who also holds finance ministry, said that Rs 25,000 Crore was spent on wages of the staff and Rs 12,000 crore towards pension in an annual budget of 1.63 lakh crores.

State plans policy to connect with non-resident Kannadigas

  • A draft Non-Resident Kannadigas (NRKs) policy looks at fostering closer ties with Kannadigas living abroad and to connect socially and economically with them.
  • The policy, approved by the state Cabinet in Belagavi on Wednesday, is drafted by the Department of Industries and Commerce and seeks to take measures to meet the “aspirations” and “requirements” of Non-Resident Kannadigas.

What are the proposals?

  • To draw investment, the policy proposes to encourage NRKs with an early seed capital fund.
  • It also proposes to create a platform for them to share their expertise and knowledge for the development of the state, the sources said. It proposes to provide angel funding for start ups in collaboration with NRI companies and organisations.
  • The policy proposes to set up an exclusive NRK investment promotion cell to facilitate early clearance of proposals, priority in land allotment among others.
  • The policy proposes to create a database of Kannadigas living abroad. According to officials in the industries department, at present there is no count of the NRKs.
  • At the social level, the policy will open NRK Cells at various cities across the world which have a large number of residents who are Kannadigas.
  • It also proposes to work out a scheme to provide assistance to those involved in calamities abroad and if required, bring them back to their native place.
  • The officials said the policy is being brought out at a time when Bengaluru will play host to the next edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (Non-Resident Indian Day) in January next.
  • The event will be held between January 7 and 9 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the key-note address.
  • The Karnataka government is expecting a large number of non-resident Kannadigas to attend the event.

NammaKPSC News Hour

  • The state government temporarily withdrew a government order which stipulates a basic minimum educational qualification of SSLC for recruiting anganwadi cooks. The members contended that this would deprive several rural and poor women from earning a decent living.
  • The 11 city corporations in the state, including the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC), have collected Rs 41.75 crore as taxes in eight days after the Union government permitted the urban local bodies to accept demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 for tax payments.
  • Archaeology dept wakes up late to artefacts in sleepy Manne. A medieval era settlement which lies buried beneath the ground near Nelamangala is likely to be unearthed next year. The artefacts and monuments scattered all over the place in Manne village, around 20 km from Nelamangala here, reveal the glorious past of the western Ganga dynasty.he Gangas ruled the region from 4h century AD to 8th century AD, till they were defeated by the Rashtrakutas. The place thrived till the 10th century AD, before slipping into oblivion. R Gopal, director of the state Archaeology department, told that, in June, a survey was done and it was found that excavating the place would be beneficial.
  • The Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) on Monday issued the Government Orders providing for two new allowances and a hike in uniform allowance for police personnel.The order states that police personnel will get a conveyance allowance of Rs 600 and Rs 1,000 as hardship allowance every month. Their monthly uniform allowance will go up to Rs 500 from Rs 100. These allowances apply only to the lower rung police personnel — constables, head constables, assistant sub-inspectors and sub-inspectors — and will come into effect from December 1.
  • All taluks to get two dialysis units by Jan 1. Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ramesh Kumar told the Legislative Council that government would start two dialysis centres in all the taluks by January 1, 2017. The units will have all the facilities and patients need not depend on private hospitals for any of the services. A nominal charge of Rs 150 would be collected irrespective of patient’s caste, community and economic background, he said. Among the 250 dialysis units in the state, 19 are defunct.
  • Bahuroopi, the annual theatre festival of Rangayana-Mysuru, is going international this year with the participation of troupes from Poland, Uzbekistan, Spain and Israel, besides staging of plays in various Indian languages, from January 13 to 18, 2017.
  • State Bank of Mysore held camps at village and hobli/taluk levels on Saturday in the state to help those who did have bank accounts to open new accounts. This was part of an initiative of the Ministry of Finance to ensure financial inclusion of workers in the unorganised sector and daily wage labourers. The move would help those who deal only in cash. SBM is also persuading firms, SME units, plantation estates etc to encourage their staff to open bank accounts and issue RuPay debit cards for seamless flow of cash.
  • An­us­h­r­ee K, a Class VII student of Shree Mahaveer Vidyalaya, Koti Road, Shivamoga eme­rged the winner of the state-level painting competition on the theme: “Conservation of Water and Pollution”.Anushree will represent the state at the national level competition, which will be held in Delhi. The second and third prizes went to Amithraj, Class VII student from Amrutha Bharathi Vidya Kendra of Udupi and Sujana S Godbole, Class VIII student from Sant Meera’s English School of Angol – Belagavi respectively.
  • A team from Udupi won the national finals of the Rural IT Quiz organized by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) held at Bengaluru Palace as part of BengaluruITE.Biz 2016. Aditya B Nayak and Pranoy DSouza from MGM PU College, Udupi, competed against the winners of state-level quizzes conducted in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Students from class 8 to 12 compete in the annual quiz competition which aims to enhance IT awareness among students in smaller towns and districts.
  • Law to ensure quota for SC/STs, OBCs based on population. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said his government will enact legislation to ensure reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in proportion to their population in the state. Replying to a discussion on the issue in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, he said there was a demand for increasing reservation from the existing 50% to 70%.
  • Govt lists 22 general holidays for 2017. The state government released a list of 22 general holidays for the calendar year 2017. The list, however, does not include Mahaveer Jayanthi (April 9) and the last day of Moharram (October 1) as they fall on Sundays.April 1 has been declared holiday only for closing of accounts of commercial banks and co-operative banks. Local holiday is declared for Kodagu district only on account of Tula Sankramana on October 17 and Huttari festival on December 4, a government notification stated.If any of the holidays for Muslim festivals does not fall on those dates, then the government will grant holidays for its employees belonging to the community on the date of observance. Besides, the government has notified 17 restricted holidays for its employees.