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12 May Current Affair : IES-UPSC-SSC-Bank Exam

  1. India diverted 10 million hectares of productive agri-lands, replaces them with barren lands for cultivation
  • In the reports of the Committee on Doubling farmers’ Income, the Committee has found a systemic change in land use that has been hurting farmers’ income.
  • According to this report, India has been diverting large tracts of productive agricultural lands for other purposes like making way for new townships and to accommodate expanding settlements besides being given for industrial purposes.
  • More and more barren and uncultivable lands are being brought under farming.
  • This has impacted the farmers’ productivity, income security and also the viability of cultivation.
Important Facts
  • Since 1970-71, the area under non-agriculture has increased by 10 million hectares (mha).
  • On the other hand, during the same period (1971-2011-12), lands under the barren and uncultivated category have declined from 28.16 mha to 17.23 mha.
  • The report argues that given India’s net-cultivated area remaining the same, this indicates farmers are now more dependent on barren and uncultivable lands for survival.
Related Information
Land put to Non-agricultural Uses
  • Land under settlements (rural and urban), infrastructure (roads, canals etc.), industries, shops, etc. are included in this category.
  • An expansion in the secondary and tertiary activities would lead to an increase in this category of land-use.
Barren and Wastelands
  • The land which may be classified as a wasteland such as barren hilly terrains, desert lands, ravines, etc. normally cannot be brought under cultivation with the available technology.
Area under Permanent Pastures and Grazing Lands
  • Most of this type of land is owned by the village ‘Panchayat’ or the Government.
  • Only a small proportion of this land is privately owned.
  • The land owned by the village panchayat comes under ‘Common Property Resources’.
Culturable Waste-Land
  • Any land which is left fallow (uncultivated) for more than five years is included in this category.
  • It can be brought under cultivation after improving it through reclamation practices.
Current Fallow
  • This is the land which is left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year.
  • Fallowing is a cultural practice adopted for giving the land rest.
  • The land recoups the lost fertility through natural processes.
Fallow other than Current Fallow
  • This is also a cultivable land which is left uncultivated for more than a year but less than five years.
  • If the land is left uncultivated for more than five years, it would be categorised as culturable wasteland.
Net Area Sown
  • The physical extent of land on which crops are sown and harvested is known as net
sown area.
Source- Down To Earth + NCERT
  1. Govt. approves green licence plates for e-vehicles
  • To promote electric vehicles in India, the government has approved green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private e-vehicles and yellow for taxis.
  • The government also plans to allow youth in the age bracket of 16-18 years to drive electric scooters, besides mandating taxi aggregators to have a certain percentage of the e-vehicle fleet.
  • The measure is aimed at promoting e-vehicle’s use and the government is considering the exemption from permits for such vehicles.
  • The purpose behind distinctive number plates is their easy identification for preferential treatment in parking, free entry in congested zones besides other proposed benefits like the concessional toll.
Related Information
  • India, currently, has four kinds of number plates-
    (a) White licence plates with numbers on the black font for private cars
    (b) Yellow plates with fonts in black for commercial vehicles
    (c) Black plates with yellow font letters for self-driven rental vehicles and
    (d) Blue plates with white font letters for Embassies and High Commissions.
  • Army vehicles, on the other hand, follow a different registration system given by the Defence Ministry, while vehicles of the President and governors have red licence plates with the national emblem.
Source- The Hindu
  1. NFR submits studies to extend rail connectivity to Bhutan
  • The Northeast Frontier Railway has submitted feasibility studies to the Ministry of External Affairs to extend rail connectivity to Bhutan.
  • At present, there is no rail link between the two countries.
  • As part of the Centre’s Act East policy to boost ties with South Asian neighbours through North Eastern region, the Indian Railways has completed groundwork for extending rail connectivity to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Source- The Hindu Business Line
  1. Exiled asteroid discovered in outer reaches of solar system
  • Scientists have found a carbon-rich asteroid that was flung into the outer reaches of the solar system and may provide new insights into the formation of the Sun and its planets.
  • Astronomers used European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes to investigate Kuiper Belt Object 2004 EW95 – the first of its kind asteroid to be confirmed in the cold outer reaches of the solar system.
  • The object likely formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and has been flung billions of kilometres from its origin to its current home in the Kuiper Belt.
  • These models suggest that the Kuiper Belt – a cold region beyond the orbit of Neptune – should contain a small fraction of rocky bodies from the inner Solar System, such as carbon-rich asteroids, referred to as carbonaceous asteroids.
  • The study found evidence for the first reliably-observed carbonaceous asteroid in the Kuiper Belt, providing strong support for these theoretical models of our Solar System’s troubled youth.
Source- Indian Express
 
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