•Gram Nyayalayas or village courts are established under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 for speedy and easy access to justice system in the rural areas of India.
•The Gram Nyayalayas are presided over by a Nyayadhikari, who will have the same power, enjoy same salary and benefits of a Judicial Magistrate of First Class.
•They have both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the offences.
•Only 208 ‘Gram Nyayalayas’ are functioning(only in 11 states) in the country as against 2,500 estimated to be required by the 12th five-year plan.
•The Supreme Court has directed the states, which are yet to come out with notifications for establishing ‘Gram Nyayalayas’, to do so within four weeks
●Recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission
•FC has considered the 2011 population along with forest cover, tax effort, area of the state, and “demographic performance” to arrive at the states’ share in the divisible pool of taxes
•The previous FC used both the 1971 and the 2011 populations to calculate the states’ shares, giving greater weight to the 1971 population (17.5%) as compared to the 2011 population (10%).
•The use of 2011 population figures has resulted in states with larger populations like UP and Bihar getting larger shares, while smaller states with lower fertility rates have lost out.
●Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
•It is a maternity benefit rechristened from erstwhile Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
•The scheme is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women.
•It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
•Best performance (population>1 crore): MP followed by AP and Hariyana
•Best performance (population<1 crore): Dadra & Nagar Haveli followed by Himachal and Chandigarh
•Best performance (population>1 crore): District (Indore in Madhya Pradesh)
•Best performance (population< 1 crore): District : Serchhip in Mizoram
●Locust attacksHide — uploads.disquscdn.com
•Locusts are a group of short-horned grasshoppers that multiply in numbers as they migrate long distances in destructive swarms (up to 150km in one day
•During the past few weeks, major locust attacks have been observed in several countries in western and southern Asia and in eastern Africa
•The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has currently identified three hotspots of threatening locust activity, where the situation has been called “extremely alarming” — the Horn of Africa, the Red Sea area, and southwest Asia.
(The Horn of Africa has been called the worst-affected area)
●Global Go To Think Tank Index: released by University of Pennsylvania (since 2008)
•It evaluates public-policy research analysis and engagement organisations that generate policy-oriented research, analysis, and advice on domestic and international issues.
•The list was topped by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace of US, followed by Belgium”s Bruegel and French Institute of International Relations
•Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has been placed at No. 16. [ CSE climbed up two notches in the 14th version of the report]
•India’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has jumped more than 90 places to 27th position among 176 global think tanks.
•Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation was the highest-ranked Indian think tank with a political party affiliation in the world, getting a rank of 31st, among 38 such institutions
•India has the second-largest number of think tanks at 509. The US has the highest number at 1,871.
●Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes(SATHI): launched by Department of Science & Technology
•Aims to address the need for building shared, professionally managed and strong S&T infrastructure in the country which is readily accessible to academia, start-ups, manufacturing, industry and R&D labs etc.
•DST has already set up three such centres in the country, one each at IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi and BHU
●Infrastructure Investment Trust(InvIT)
•It is like a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from possible individual/institutional investors in infrastructure to earn a small portion of the income as return
•InvITs can be treated as the modified version of REITs (They are similar to REIT but invest in infrastructure projects such as roads or highways which take some time to generate steady cash flows)
◽Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT): REIT is roughly like a mutual fund that invests in real estate although the similarity doesn’t go much further
•Markets regulator SEBI has put in place a framework for the rights issue of units by listed REIT and InvITs
●Ujh Multipurpose (National) Project:
•The project is planned to be constructed in Kathua District of J&K on the River Ujh which is a major tributary of River Ravi.
•The project, after completion, will enhance the utilization of waters of Eastern Rivers allotted to India as per the Indus Water Treaty.
•The Ujh river originates in Kailash mountains (near Bhaderwah hills, part of the Pir Panjal Range) at an altitude of 4,300 metres (14,100 ft)