Mysore tops Swachh Bharat rankings for 476 cities

Mysore city in Karnataka has topped the Swachh Bharat Rankings of 476 cities in the country with three more from the State figuring in the top 10. West Bengal does well with 25 cities/towns from the State finding a place in the top 100 cities. These rankings are based on the extent of open defecation and solid waste management practices in these cities. The city of Mysore leads the cities with minimal open defecation and extensive adoption of solid waste management practices.

39 cities from the Southern states are among the top 100 followed by 27 from the East, 15 from the West, 12 from the North and 7 from the North-Eastern States.

15 of the 27 capital cities surveyed figured among the top 100 performers while five were ranked beyond 300. Bengaluru leads the list of capitals at 7th rank while Patna came at the bottom at 429.

Among the bottom 100 cities, 74 are from the North, 21 from the East, 3 from the West and 2 from the South.

The top 10 ranked cities being : Mysore, Thiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Navi Mumbai, Kochi (Kerala), Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru from Karnataka, Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Halisahar (West Bengal) and Gangtok (Sikkim) in that order.

Damoh (Madhya Pradesh) came at the bottom of 476, preceded by Bhind(MP), Palwal and Bhiwani, both in Haryana, Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan), Bulandshahar (UP), Neemuch (MP), Rewari(Haryana), Hindaun (Rajasthan) and Sambalpur in Odisha at 467th rank.

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via PTI News

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Land Acquisition Act – Key amendments passed by Lok Sabha

On 10 March 2015, Lok Sabha adopted nine amendments moved by the government to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Following are some of the key amendments:

  • Social infrastructure removed as an exempted category.
  • Land can be acquired up to 1 km on both sides of the designated railway line or road of the industrial corridor.
  • Before issuing notification, the government should ensure that land acquired is bare minimum required for the project.
  • The appropriate government must conduct survey of its wasteland including arid land and maintain a record.
  • Acquisition of land for private hospitals, educational institutions no longer counted as public purpose.
  • Compulsory employment to at least one member of affected family of a farm labourer.
  • Land acquisition, rehabilitation authority should hold hearings in district where acquisition takes place.
  • Court shall take cognizance of offence provided in the procedure laid down in section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure.

2014 – The year that was

A glimpse of some important events that marked this year.

February-March: The Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa caught the world’s attention. On March 18, Guinean health officials announced the outbreak of a mysterious haemorrhagic fever. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, as of December 10, there have been 17,942 reported cases of Ebola virus disease, with 6,388 reported deaths.

March 08: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 flying from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to China’s capital city of Beijing, with 239 people on board, lost contact and disappeared. Its baffling disappearance launched the world’s most expensive search effort. The debris has not been spotted and the crash site has not been zeroed in on.

April 07: The Indian general election 2014 (16th Lok Sabha elections) was held from April 7 to May 12, making it the longest election in the country’s history. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won the elections.

May 26: BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The swearing-in gained much attention because it was the first time that the leaders of SAARC were invited for such an event. Heads of or representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lankan, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Bangladesh were invited.

July 23: The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland concluded on August 3, with England finishing at the top with a total of 174 medals. India too put up a memorable performance, finishing fifth with 64 medals.

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via The Hindu.

India set to become second-largest internet market

According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the number of people online in India is forecast to touch 302 million or 30.2 crore by end of 2014, overtaking the US as the second-largest Internet market in the world.

The Internet user base in the country is further estimated to grow to 35.4 crore by June 2015.

China has the largest user base with more than 60 crore Internet users, while the US has an estimated 27. 9 crore users.

Of the 27.8 crore users, 17.7 crore are in urban India, higher by 29 per cent from 2013. This is expected to reach 19.0 crore by December 2014 and 21.6 crore by June 2015.

In rural India, the number of Internet users is expected to reach 11.2 crore by December 2014 and 13.8 crore by June 2015.

Global Terrorism Index 2014

According to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index, by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization based in Sydney, Australia, the number of deaths caused by terrorism increased by 61 percent between 2012 and 2013. There were nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 44 percent increase on the previous year.

The Index defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation”.

“Not only is the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth is increasing as well,” the report said. 

According to the report, the three main factors behind with terrorism were State sponsored violence, such as extra-judicial killings, “group grievances” and high levels of crime. Levels of school attendance, poverty rates, and most economic factors, however, had no association with terrorism.

Fed ends bond buying, exhibits confidence in U.S. recovery

The Federal Reserve, on 29 October, ended its monthly bond purchase program and signaled confidence the U.S. economic recovery would remain on track despite signs of a slowdown in many parts of the global economy.

“The Committee continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy to support ongoing progress toward maximum employment in a context of price stability,” the central bank’s policy committee said in a statement following a two-day meeting.

The statement largely dismissed recent financial market volatility, dimming growth in Europe and a weak inflation outlook as headwinds that would do little to undercut progress toward the Fed’s unemployment and inflation goals.

CLICK HERE to read complete story | Reuters.