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National News- Daily Digest: Key Updates

1. Rajasthan leads in child marriages

A research by Young Lives in coordination with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has revealed that Rajasthan has reported the highest incidence of child marriages.
The study, based on the 2011 Census, states that 2.5% of marriages of minor girls were reported in Rajasthan, which is followed by 15 States, including Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Nagaland, Assam, Maharashtra, Tripura, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Karnataka
Rajasthan also topped in the percentage (4.69%) of boys marrying below the legal age of 21 years. Thirteen other States reported a higher percentage of child marriages among boys when compared with the national average.
The study, released by Justice A.K. Sikri of the Supreme Court, zeroes in on 70 districts spread across 13 States, which comprise more than 20% of child marriages. It has empirically studied the current situation vis-à-vis various possible factors. No marriage below 10 years of age was reported across the country.
The study shows a minor decline of 0.1% in the marriage of minor girls. The decline in rural India, between 2001 and 2011 Census, was marginally higher than in the whole of the country.

2. India, Russia ink nuclear plant pact

India and Russia have signed the much-awaited agreement on setting up two more units of a nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu and decided to give a “new direction” to the defence cooperation between the two “great powers”.
The two countries also decided to hold the first tri-Services exercises, named ‘Indra-2017,’ this year and start joint manufacture of frigates, adding to the co-production of Kamov-226 military helicopters.
These decisions were taken at the wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin which covered issues like terrorism and increasing trade and investment.

3. Gujarat’s Mithivirdi nuclear plant to be shifted to AP

The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) recently informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to shift the proposed 6,000 megaWatt (MW) nuclear plant – the first under the Indo-US civil nuclear pact of 2008- from the coastal district of Gujarat to Kavvada in Andhra Pradesh “on account of delay in land acquisition at Chhaya-Mithivirdi site”.
The plant was to be set up by state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) with technical support from Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC), which will build six nuclear reactors at the new site.
The decade-long legal battle to save their fertile land from being used for the country’s largest nuclear power plant ended in a victory for farmers from Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar district.

4. Indian Naval Mountaineering Team Successfully Unfurled National Flag and Naval Ensign Atop Highest Point on Earth at Mt. Everest

The Indian Naval Mountaineering team comprising eleven summiteers (9 on Mt Everest & 2 on Lhotse) have successfully unfurled National flag and Naval Ensign atop highest point on Earth i.e. Mt. Everest and thereby achieving this remarkable feat under challenging conditions.

The expedition was headed by Cdr Sanjay Kulkarni (Oi/c expedition) and comprised 18 climbers for Mt Everest; two climbers for Lhotse and four base camp members.

5. India’s First Automatic Coastal Warning for Disasters to come up in Odisha

From July, Odisha will commission the ambitious Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) to warn the vast population residing along its 480 km-long coast in the event of the occurrence of natural disasters like a tsunami or a cyclone. Andhra Pradesh is also reportedly developing such system to alert the people in case of natural calamities.
The warning can be disseminated just by pressing a single button from a control room in the State capital in the event of the occurrence of natural disasters. It would trigger loud sirens simultaneously from towers at 122 locations including tourist destinations, fish landing centres and coastal habitations situated across the state. The sound emanating from the towers can be heard in localities up to a radius of 1.5 km. Thus, Odisha become the first state to have developed an automatic public address system that can be activated across the state. The towers will be installed in 22 blocks under six coastal districts such as Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam The EWDS comprises of Satellite-Based Mobile Data Voice Terminals (SBMDVT), Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), Mass Messaging System (MMS) and Universal Communication Interface (UCI) for inter-operability among different communication technologies. The project at an estimated cost of ₹ 82 crore will be implemented with assistance from the World Bank. The EWDS will help the people to move to safer places before government agencies commenced evacuation.

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