Indian Current Affairs | Current Affairs India - December 2011

FDI Policy in Multi Brand Retail
The policy cleared by Union Cabinet on 24th November stipulates that FDI in multi brand retail will be allowed upto 51% foreign equity through the government approval route, subject to adequate safeguards for domestic stakeholders. The policy rollout will cover only cities with a population of more than 1 million (As per 2011 census, there are only 53 such cities whereas there are 7935 towns and cities in India). The policy mandates a minimum investment $ 100 million with at least half the amount to be invested in back end infrastructure, including cold chains, refrigeration, transportation, packing, sorting and processing. This is expected to considerably reduce the post harvest losses and bring remunerative prices to farmers. Sourcing of a minimum of 30% from Indian micro and small industry having capital investment of not more than $ 1 million has been made mandatory. This will provide the scales to encourage domestic value addition and manufacturing, thereby creating a multiplier effect for employment, technology upgradation and income generation. India has a federal structure of government . The FDI policy is an enabling framework and it remains the prerogative of the states to adopt it. But last week, Goverment halted the process due to intense opposition from TC and other parties.

Roshni Prachodaya Society 
Project Roshni is a green innovative concept encompassing environment management and empowerment of local communities, to create inclusive and eco-friendly sustainable urban habitats. The Society has taken initiatives in Solid and Liquid Waste Management, Water Conservation and Rain Water Harvesting, Bio–Diversity Conservation, Energy Audit and Conservation, Use of New and Renewable Energy Sources etc. Roshni Prachodaya Society has a mission to universalise Roshni, so as to fulfil the larger vision of the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil - “To make all Urban Habitats Eco – Friendly and Sustainable”.

Forest Cover in the Country 
Increased urbanisation, industrialisation and rehabilitation does not shrink forestsday-by-day. According to the India State of Forest Report 2009, based upon the biennial assessment by Forest Survey of India, there is an increase in the forest cover of the country from 690171 square km in 2005 to 690899 square km in 2007. The Ministry of Environment & Forests is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Afforestation Programme (NAP) Scheme for regeneration of degraded forests and adjoining areas in the country. The scheme is being implemented through a decentralized mechanism of State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) at State level, Forest Development Agency (FDA) at Forest Division level and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at village level. As on 31.10.2011, 800 FDA projects have been approved in 28 States in the country to treat an area of 18.32 lakh ha. since inception of the scheme in 2002.  Tree planting is also an approved activity under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), and other schemes of Central and State Governments.
The national mission for a Green India has been launched, as on of the eight Mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.  The Mission focuses on enhancing ecosystem services and carbon sink through afforestation and ecorestoration of 10 million ha. of forest and non forest lands over 12th and 13th Plan period. 

Eeat Scheme in Rural Areas 
The Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) scheme is being used to educate students in rural areas. Under the Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) Scheme, National Green Corps (NGC) Programme is being used to educate student in rural areas about environmental issues. The Eco-clubs have been set up by the Government in the schools under the National Green Corps (NGC) Programme since 2000-01, with underlined objective of spreading environmental awareness amongst school children. These clubs are set up in each district the country over, with the focus on action oriented environment programme through the active involvement of the students. Though State Govts./UTs are at liberty to set up any number of eco-club in a district but the financial assistance under the Programme is restricted to 250 eco-clubs per district Rs.@ 2,500/- per Eco-club per annum. 

Impact of Global Warming on Forests 
A report titled published in 2010 under the aegis of the Indian Network on Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), has assessed impacts of climate change on four eco-sensitive regions namely; Himalayan, Coastal, North-Eastern and Western Ghats. The assessment result is presented for forest grid which indicates that 55 (56%) out of 98 grids in the Himalayan region, 29 (30%) out of the 96 grids in the entire Coastal region, 6(8%) out of 73 grids of the North-Eastern region and 10 (18%) out of 54 grids in the Western Ghats region are projected to undergo change.
As per the report, the forest ecosystems of the Himalayan region are most vulnerable to climate change. The Coastal regions and Western Ghats are moderately vulnerable to climate change. 

Doctor-Patient Ratio in the Country
As per information furnished by Medical Council of India, the total number of doctors registered allopathic in the country till July, 2011, is 8,56,065 out of which approximately six lac are presently active practitioners. The current doctor-population ratio has been worked out to be approximately 1:2000.