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July 12, 2017 @ 9:45 am
2017-07-12T09:45:00+05:30
2017-07-12T10:00:00+05:30

NEWS

12 JULY 2017

Sr. No.

Topic

News

 1.        

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

SC stays cattle sale rules across nation

2.        

GS II: POLITY – INTER STATE WATERS

‘Mysore-Madras pacts unequal’

3.        

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Sensor network to map and predict pollution, effluents in Godavari

4.        

GS II: GOVERNANCE – AADHAAR

Aadhaar jolt for PF pensioners in Karnataka

5.        

GS I: CULTURE

India to celebrate Falun Gong

6.        

GS III: ECONOMY -POLICIES

Startup India’s slow pace worries Govt.

7.        

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICIES

5 States, a UT sign pact with Centre on e-Marketplace

8.         

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Earth facing sixth mass extinction

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

SC stays cattle sale rules across nation

  • The Supreme Court stayed the Centre’s May 26 notification, banning cattle sale in livestock markets for slaughter and religious sacrifices.
  • The order came after the government acquiesced that public outcry and objections from the States about the law’s impact on livelihoods made it realise that the rules need “tweaking”.
  • Additional Solicitor- General P. Narasimha chose his words carefully while saying the government had received a “large number of representations” that “certain aspects” of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Act, 2017 were “troubling” and threw up some “sensitive” questions about the Central rules.

GS II: POLITY – INTER STATE WATERS

‘Mysore-Madras pacts unequal’

  • The 1892 and 1924 pacts between the erstwhile Mysore and Madras governments reflect an “inequality of bargaining power” and a lack of “conscience” which have no validity after the birth of the Indian Constitution, Karnataka argued in the Supreme Court.
  • The submission was made before a three-judge Bench during the day-long hearing on the appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the final award on the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal’s decision on water-sharing.
  • Karnataka counsel and senior advocate Fali Nariman submitted that the 1892 agreement, the “parent” of the 1924 pact, dictated that Mysore could not develop any irrigational infrastructure on the river without the consent of the Madras government.
  • Supreme Court had earlier refused the Centre’s stand that the apex court lacked jurisdiction to hear the Cauvery river dispute.
  • The Centre had argued that the parliamentary law of Inter-State Water Disputes Act of 1956, coupled with Article 262 (2) of the Constitution, excluded the Supreme Court from hearing or deciding any appeals against the Cauvery Tribunal’s decision.
  • The Bench, however, had held that the remedy under Article 136 was a constitutional right

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Sensor network to map and predict pollution, effluents in Godavari

  • The Ganga may be the focus of the government’s river-cleaning efforts, but a group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari, India’s second longest river.
  • Using a mix of methods, including satellite-monitoring, traversing stretches of the river to collect water samples and using special sensors to measure bacterial and chemical pollution, the researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system.
  • The team’s long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in, say, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.
  • The sampling exercise measures parameters such as total dissolved salts, nitrate, pH, temperature, turbidity and electrical conductivity.
  • Some river attributes such as microbial levels require to be measured in laboratories, though the team hopes eventually to be able to use low-cost sensors that measure them, too, in real time.
  • “Through cloud-based data collection and real-time mapping systems, the research and implementation teams intend to demonstrate the importance and value of detecting and anticipating pollutants that enter the river in the form of human waste, organic materials, and chemical contaminants,” the University of Chicago research team said in a statement.
  • The exercise is part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project to support the programme of the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) to provide city-wide sanitation improvements in urban Andhra Pradesh.
  • Sensors to monitor river pollution are an emerging technological approach in India.
  • In April 2017, Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), said 40 proposals to make the sensors (to monitor river and environmental pollution) had come in, and two would be short-listed soon. Intel, which will make the chips powering the devices, and the DST will split a Rs. 35-crore investment.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – AADHAAR

Aadhaar jolt for PF pensioners in Karnataka

  • Nearly 30% of about five lakh Provident Fund pensioners across Karnataka have not received their pension for the past two months, for not linking their Aadhaar details with the PF accounts.
  • Though the pensioners were informed over the last six months that the linkage was mandatory as part of the national policy for disbursement of pensions, nearly 1.5 lakh pensioners had not complied, sources said.
  • They said since making Aadhaar mandatory was a policy decision taken by the Centre, similar cases could be there in other States too.
  • An official at the PF office said the measure was to ensure that benefits reached genuine beneficiaries. “Earlier, a survivor certificate was given at banks, and in some cases, those certificates were suspicious. Hence, Aadhaar was made mandatory. In fact, pensioners, after providing biometrics at the PF office, need not provide survivor certificates every year, which is currently the norm. From next year, they can go to their banks and give their thumb impression instead of the survivor certificate.”

GS I: CULTURE

India to celebrate Falun Gong

  • Falun Gong, the ancient Chinese holistic system that is banned in China, will be celebrated in India on July 15 with a parade and Human Word Formation in the capital.
  • Organisers said the event would highlight the persecution against the practitioners in China.
  • It aims to spread the message of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance which are the basic principles of Falun Dafa.
  • The organisation also claimed that despite years of “brutal torture” in China, Falun Dafa practitioners are not surrendering to Beijing’s strict rules.
  • It claimed that the government in Beijing has been trying to “eradicate” the group as it is “extremely popular”.

GS III: ECONOMY -POLICIES

Startup India’s slow pace worries Govt.

  • The Centre is concerned about the minuscule number of start-ups becoming eligible for tax benefits under the Startup India programme, with just 39 start-ups qualifying for such concessions even 18 months after the flagship initiative was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • “Till March (2017), only around 10 start-ups were found eligible for tax benefits,” a senior government official said.
  • “In the last three months, though, this number has gone up to 39, we feel this is too low given the programme’s high ambitions.”
  • With the norms specifying that in order to obtain tax benefits, a start-up should be a private limited company or a limited liability partnership incorporated on or after April 1, 2016, few companies qualified for tax benefits in the initial period as there were not many corporate entities incorporated on or after that cut-off date.
  • The recent relaxation in norms that include doing away with the requirement of ‘letter of recommendation’ from an incubator/industry association for recognising a company as a start-up or for tax benefits will also help increase the number of start-ups that will qualify for tax benefits.
  • Also, by broadening the scope of definition of start-ups to include ‘scalability of business model with potential of employment generation or wealth creation,’ the Centre has decided to reappraise all rejected applications to give all applicants a “fair chance,” the official said.
  • Also, an entity shall be deemed as a start-up up to 7 years from the date of its incorporation.
  • For the biotechnology sector, the period is up to 10 years.
  • The aim is to cross 100 by end September 2017.

EARLIER DEFINITION

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICIES

5 States, a UT sign pact with Centre on e-Marketplace

  • In a spirit of cooperative federalism, 5 States and a Union Territory (UT) formally adopted the Centre’s initiative called theGovernment e-Marketplace (GeM) that aims to ensure that public procurement of goods and services in India worth more than Rs. 5 lakh crore annually is carried out through the online platform for transparency and to eliminate corruption.
  • The States and the UT that signed an MoU with the Centre include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Telangana, Puducherry and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Four more, including Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Haryana, will ink such an MoU soon.
  • Mr. Modi had talked about how the GeM can enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Earth facing sixth mass extinction

  • The sixth mass extinction of life on Earth is unfolding more quickly than feared, scientists have warned.
  • More than 30% of animals with a backbone – fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals – are declining in both range and population, according to the first comprehensive analysis of these trends.
  • It provides much-needed data about the threat to wildlife, mapping the dwindling ranges and population of 27,600 species.
  • For 177 mammals, researchers combed through data covering the period 1900 to 2015.
  • The mammal species that were monitored have lost at least a third of their original habitat, the researchers found.
  • Forty per cent of them – including rhinos, orangutans, gorillas and many big cats – are surviving on 20% or less of the land they once roamed.
  • “Several species of mammals that were relatively safe one or two decades ago are now endangered,” including cheetahs, lions and giraffes, the study showed.
  • There are as few as 20,000 lions left in the wild, less than 7,000 cheetahs, 500 to 1,000 giant pandas, and about 250 Sumatran rhinoceros.
  • Globally, the mass die-off – deemed to be the sixth in the last half-billion years – is the worst since three-quarters of life on the Earth, including the non-avian dinosaurs, were wiped out 66 million years ago by a giant meteor impact.
  • On an average, two vertebrate species disappear every year.
  • Tropical regions have seen the highest number of declining species.
  • While fewer species are disappearing in temperate zones, the percentage is just as high or higher.
  • As many as half of the number of animals that once shared our planet are no longer here, a loss the authors described as “a massive erosion of the greatest biological diversity in the history of Earth”.
  • The main drivers of wildlife decline are habitat loss, overconsumption, pollution, invasive species, disease, as well as poaching in the case of tigers, elephants, rhinos and other large animals prized for their body parts.
  • Climate change is poised to become a major threat in the coming decades.

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