Saturday, 23 May 2015

17th March 2015

>> Haryana Government has passed Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015 that bans cow slaughter.  It was unanimously passed in budget session of state with voice vote.
Key provisions of Bill
  • Objective- the Bill seeks to conserve and develop indigenous breeds of cows in the State. It also seeks to establish institutions for the purpose of sheltering and taking care of infirm, injured, stray and uneconomic cows.
  • Cow slaughter Banned- Cow slaughter is completely banned in the state and anyone found guilty would be liable for imprisonment for 3 to 10 years, along with fines from Rs. 30 thousand to Rs. 1 lakh. While, the killing of a cow in an accident or for self-defence will not be considered slaughter.
  • Ban on sale of beef– It is completely banned in the state. Violation of the ban will entail person 3 to 5 years of rigorous imprisonment with fine of up to Rs. 50 thousand. 

>> Veteran singer and music composer Bombay S. Kamal passed away on 17 March 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala at the age of 85.
  • He was suffering from respiratory ailments. In past six decades, he had active presence in the field of music especially in Malayalam film music.

>> India and Kyrgyzstan on 17 March 2015 signed MoU to strengthen bilateral cooperation on textile and clothing.
  • The MoU seeks to strengthen bilateral cooperation between both nations in the three fields including Textiles and Clothing, Silk and Sericulture and Fashion.

The MoU also aims to
  • Development of trade and economic & investment relations.
  • Collaboration in techno-commercial and joint trade missions.
  • Investment cooperation.
  • Mutual assistance in R&D.
  • Technical collaboration in the field of product development and manufacturing, testing and certification. 

>> Indian researcher Minoti Apate has been named as New South Wales (NSW) Woman of the year 2015.
  • Apate was named for the award for her contributions to the field of medical research, Indian community and the tertiary education.
  • She is currently leading pre-clinical studies that are primed to suggest new treatments for pancreatic cancer - the fifth leading cause of all cancer deaths in Australia

  • Dr Apte, Professor of Medicine at the South Western Sydney Clinical School of the University of New South Wales, last year, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to medical research, tertiary education and the Indian Community.
  • she is director of the Pancreatic Research Group and is an acknowledged world-leader in alcohol-induced pancreatic injury and pancreatic cancer.
  • She investigates pancreatic cancer at a cellular level to find out how and why the cancer is so aggressive and spreads so quickly.

  • Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers with a five-year survival rate of just 6 per cent.
  • She was the first in the world to develop a method to isolate pancreatic stellate cells, a technique which provided a much needed research tool for studying the path that pancreatic fibrosis (scarring of the pancreas) takes..

>> Ashu Suyash has been appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL).

  • She will succeed Roopa Kudva, who had been the MD & CEO at Crisil since 2007. Suyash’s appointment was confirmed by the Board of Directors of the Company and will assume charge from 1st June 2015.

>> Parliament has passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders Amendment Bill, 2015.

  • The bill was first passed in Rajya Sabha on February 24, 2015 and later in Lok Sabha on March 17, 2015. It was unanimously passed by a voice vote in both the houses.
  • The bill seeks to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in three states- Haryana, Karnataka, Odisha and one Union Territory- Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Key Amendments
  • The Bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Dadra and Nagar Haveli) Scheduled Castes Order, 1962. The Bill adds the following communities to the list of Scheduled Castes:

 Haryana: Kabirpanthi, Julaha.
Karnataka: Bhovi, od, odde, Vaddar, Waddar.
 Odisha: Dhoba, Dhobi, Dom, Dombo, Duria Dom, Katia, Kela, Nalua Kela, Khadala and Turi.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli: Chamar.

The bill was introduced in Parliament as per the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. Article 341 empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification. It also empowers the President to specify castes which will be deemed as Scheduled Castes through a notification.

>> Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the notification issued by Union Government to include Jats in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) for the benefit of reservation.

  • The Supreme Court (SC) held that Union Government took this decision by overlooking the findings of the National Commission for Backward Classes(NCBC).
  • In its report NCBC had stated that Jats do not deserve to be included in the Central list of OBC as they don’t form a socio-economic backward class.
  • Inclusion of a politically organised class like Jat would adversely impact the welfare of the other backward classes. 
  • Though the Union Government has powers under the Constitutional scheme to provide reservation to a particular class but it cannot provide reservation on the basis of a decade-old-finding about the backwardness of a caste. SC gave this decision on Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the OBC Reservation Raksha Samiti which had challenged Union Governments notification of including Jats in the Central list of OBC.

>> Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 16 March 2015 released Trends in International Arms Transfers 2014 report.
According to it, India is the world's largest importer of weapons and military equipment, accounting for 15 percent of global imports, with Russia being its majority supplier.
India: The largest importer of arms
• India was the largest importer of major arms in 2010–14, accounting for 15 percent of the global total. Between 2005–2009 and 2010–14 imports increased by 140 percent.
• In 2010–14 India’s imports were three times larger than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan.
• This contrasts with 2005–2009 when India’s imports were 23 percent below China’s and just over double those of Pakistan.
• India has so far failed to produce competitive indigenous-designed weapons and remains dependent on imports.
• In 2010–14 Russia supplied 70 percent of India’s arms imports, the USA 12 percent and Israel 7 percent. The acquisitions from the USA are a break with the recent past.
• Prior to 2005–2009 India barely received any major weapons from the USA. However, there now appears to be an upward trend in arms imports from the USA. Imports in 2010–14 were 15 times higher than in 2005–2009 and included advanced weapons such as anti-submarine warfare aircraft. In 2014 additional deals with the USA were agreed, including for 22 combat helicopters.

SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

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