India hails U.K. verdict on former Nizam
Topic: GS-I: History
In what can be seen as a major setback for Pakistan, high court of England and Wales on Wednesday ruled in favour of India and two descendants of the late seventh Nizam of Hyderabad in a case relating to funds deposited in a London bank.
- The dispute revolves around one million pounds transferred in 1948 from the then Nizam of Hyderabad to the high commissioner in Britain of the newly formed state of Pakistan. The money was transferred to Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, for safe-keeping. Rahimtoola agreed “to keep the amount mentioned by you in my name in trust”. The Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, who later chose to stay with India had demanded that the funds be returned but NatWest bank held onto the money till the rightful owner was established.
- The case was filed by the Nizam’s descendants, MukarramJah – the titular eighth Nizam of Hyderabad – and his younger brother MuffakhamJah , who joined hands with the Indian government in the legal battle against the Pakistan government over the money that now totals around 35 million pounds.
- In his judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Marcus Smith ruled that the “Nizam VII was beneficially entitled to the Fund and those claiming in right of Nizam VII – the Princes and India – are entitled to have the sum paid out to their order.”
- Reacting to the ruling, the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad said it would take further action after examining the detailed judgment.
Prime Minister Modi declares country open defecation-free
Topic: GS–II: Social Justice
On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the country open defecation-free, claiming success for the government’s initiative under which every household now apparently has access to a toilet.
- The Prime Minister pressed a remote, unveiling the map of India as open defecation-free at the Sabarmati riverfront ground in the presence of more than 20,000 village heads from across the country and also representatives from several countries.
- He said that In 60 months, 600 million people have been given access to toilets, more than 110 million toilets have been built.
- He added that this achievement is just a milestone, and we should not stop here. The movement has to continue. He credited ground-level volunteers with making Swachhta and toilets a common man’s topic after the government launched the initiative.
‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative launched
Topic: GS –II: Governance
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to launched his government’s new governance initiative ‘Mo Sarkar’ on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
- The ‘Mo Sarkar’ was launched at all police stations across the State along with 21 district headquarters hospitals and three government-run medical college hospitals at Cuttack, Berhampur and Sambalpur. The programme will be effective at all the 30 district headquarters hospitals of the State by October 30.
- The objective of the ‘Mo Sarkar’ programme is to provide service with dignity to people who are coming to government offices for different purposes. The phone numbers of people who are coming to government offices will be collected randomly with the purpose to improve the governance system by collecting feedback on behaviour and professionalism of government officers.
- The Chief Minister, Departmental Minister, Director General of Police (in case of police stations) and Departmental Minister, Secretary and Director (in case of hospitals) will call on random numbers to collect feedback.
- The employees will be ranked as good or bad on the basis of the feedback and those with good rank will get out-of-turn promotion and action will be taken against employees with bad rank.
Andhra Pradesh CM launches Village Secretariat system
Topic: GS –II: Governance
Opening a new chapter in public administration by inaugurating the Village Secretariat system at village near Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said it was a happy coincidence that the launch coincided with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who firmly believed that the country would perish if development eluded villages.
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- Andhra Pradesh became a role model for other States by setting up village and ward secretariats. These institutions would act as a bridge between the government and the people by rendering over 500 types of services at their doorstep, Mr. Reddy said, pointing out that they were a major step towards his poll promise of decentralization of administration.
- The CM said people had to bribe the officials to get ration cards or pensions or to avail any welfare scheme. All that would be a thing of the past when the village and ward secretariats start functioning in a full-fledged manner from January 1, 2020, he said.
- Reddy said the Village Secretariats would showcase government programmes and make pictorial representations of government schools and hospitals under the caption ‘then and now’ to show how reforms had changed their functioning.
Excess rain washes out IMD’s methods
Topic: GS -III: Economic Development
While India this year may have recorded its highest monsoon rain in 25 years, an analysis suggests that new monsoon models, called the Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecast Model (CFS), deployed by the IMD over the last decade don’t do better than the older ones in long-range forecasting.
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- This year, India ended up with 10% more monsoon rain (or 110% of the long period average or LPA of 887 mm) than usual. However, none of the agency’s models tuned to capture long term forecast trends warned of this. The IMD’s (India Meteorological Department) workhorse statistical models said in its last update on August 1 that All India Monsoon Rainfall (June-September) would be 96% of the LPA. The CFS model in April said the monsoon would be 94% of the normal and updated to 99% in August.
Accurate in short term
- However, the IMD models that forecast two weeks ahead (called extended range prediction) did warn of increased monsoon activity, as did short-term forecast models (that gauge weather three days ahead). However, the Department doesn’t use these to update estimates of the anticipated all India figures. The newer models were developed as part of a ₹1200 crore ‘Monsoon mission’ that has been underway for over a decade and were meant to improve both short term and long term forecasts.
- Only twice — in 2013 and 2015 — did the CFS model get the monsoon right. It predicted 104% and 86% of the LPA and India ended up with 106% and 86% respectively. Like the CFS, the older statistical model also got 2015 right — when India saw one of its severest droughts. It also got 2017 right. The statistical model said the country would get 98% and India ended up with 95%. The CFS said 100%.
Highest since 1983
- On August 1, the IMD said August and September rains would be “100% of what’s normal” for the two months with an error window of ±8%. The country ended up with 130%, the highest since 1983.
- IMD scientists admitted that the dynamical models were incapable of factoring in changes in the Indian Ocean a month or two in advance.
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