Bengaluru Buzz: CM presents state budget | Controversial Jain University skit … and more

ASHA workers assured of honorarium hike, rise in groundwater levels, and voters can apply to replace ID cards were the other top news.

Last budget before polls

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s second budget was presented on February 17th. It included a CM Vidya Shakti Scheme for students and a Gruhani Shakthi scheme for women.

Meanwhile, the opposition leaders came to the Assembly with a ‘flower-on-the-ear’ or ‘Kivi Mele Hoove‘ protest, alleging that the government had fooled the people with false promises.

Source: Indian Express

Aero India events

The 14th edition of the Aero India show 2023, held at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka, saw a large turnout .

About 266 partnerships, including 201 MoUs, 53 major announcements, and nine product launches were firmed up at the Aero India, at a Bandhan ceremony, expected to unlock business potential worth Rs 80,000 crore. The ceremony was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, top leaders of Indian defence industries, and senior military officials.

Singh also inaugurated the annual defence innovation event, Manthan 2023, at the Aero India show.

Manthan was organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), a platform that brings leading innovators, start-ups, MSMEs, incubators, academia, and investors from defence and the aerospace ecosystem under one roof. 

Source: The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Read more: Bengaluru needs scientific not short-sighted mobility planning

Controversial skit on Ambedkar at Jain University

Police arrested nine persons, including seven students, who had staged a controversial skit at the Jain (deemed-to-be) University fest, which has been charged with showing casteist content, mocking Dalits, and BR Ambedkar. The arrests followed just a few hours after the university suspended six students and tendered an unconditional apology for the skit.

The principal, Dinesh Nilkant, and the youth festival organiser of the Centre for Management Studies (CMS) were arrested under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act sections 3 (1) (r), 3(1) (s), and 3(1)(v), and IPC sections 153A, 149, and 295A.

The complaint was registered by Madhusudhana K N, assistant director of the social welfare department, Bengaluru South.

The Karnataka State Commission for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe sought a detailed report on the incident from the university. The Bengaluru University Postgraduate and Research Students’ Union called a bandh on February 14th against the University.

Even during zero hour in the Karnataka Assembly, JD(S) legislator Dr K Annadani asked that the ‘deemed university’ status and facilities given to the institution should be removed.

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

Voters can apply to replace ID cards

Voters can apply for replacement of Electoral Photo ID Card (EPIC) if the cards are damaged or lost, said the BBMP. According to instructions of the Election Commission (EC), voters can apply for new cards by filling Form 8 online or offline and also through the Voter Helpline App.

Source: The Hindu

Groundwater levels rose in the last two years

Due to heavy rain, percolation wells, and lake rejuvenation programmes, the average water table level rose by two feet from 2020 to 2021, and by eight more feet by November 2022, according to data by the Groundwater Directorate. Due to better implementation of projects to tap into rainwater, improve percolation into the ground and an initiative by NGOs, more than 2,50,000 percolation wells have sprung up across the city, contributing to the rising groundwater levels.

A water tank in Bengaluru.
Representative image. BWSSB water tank. Pic: Seller

In Lalbagh, where the water level had dropped to 45 feet in 2019, it has now come up to as low as 15 feet. Close to 300 percolation wells have been dug in Lalbagh at strategic points.

Source: Deccan Herald

ASHA workers assured of hike

The honorarium of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers will be hiked by Rs 2,000 this year, said Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar at a state-level conference. He said he will try to ensure that all legitimate demands of workers are met.

The ASHA workers have demanded that an ASHA Nidhi fund of Rs 5 crore be allocated separately for healthcare of workers. During the pandemic, many had worked from home, but only the ASHA workers were on the ground, implementing vaccination programmes, and other central and state health schemes like the POSHAN Abhiyan or the Indradhanush vaccination scheme. 

Source: The New Indian Express

Read more: Decentralising healthcare: 108 namma clinics launched in the first phase

NGT notes carbon footprint of glass facade buildings

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken note of the concerns regarding the environmental impact of glass facades on buildings. It has issued a notice to several departments and requested a detailed report from the State Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).

A petition was filed by Jagan Kumar J, flagging the Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) reports on the high carbon footprints of glass facade buildings and bird kills they had caused.

The study by Professor T V Ramachandra and the Energy Wetlands Group at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, published in 2016, shows that per capita electricity consumption in areas dominated by high-rise buildings with glass facades ranges from 14,000 to 17,000 kWh per year, while in zones with eco-friendly buildings, it ranges from 1,300 to 1,500 kWh per person per year.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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