President Ram Nath Kovind approved a proclamation imposing President’s Rule in Maharashtra, following a recommendation from Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
About President’s Rule:
Article 356 of constitution of India empowers President to issue a proclamation of Present’s Rule (or State Emergency), if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which government of a state cannot be carried on in accordance with provisions of Constitution. Thus, President’s rule is also called Constitutional Emergency as it deals with failure of constitutional machinery in State. The President can act in accordance with or without the report of Governor of state.
President’s Rule in a state can continue for a period of 6 months at a time and after this period it can be extended for another term with approval of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) but for a maximum period of 3 years.
Delhi’s odd-even scheme makes inroads in Haryana.
Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri told that the scheme could be implemented in the Millennium City as well in future with an improved public transport system in place.
About Odd-Even Scheme:
Odd- even vehicle rule was implemented in 2015 in order to control pollution. The odd-even rule will mean that cars running with number plates ending in even numbers like 0, 2,4,6,8 will be allowed to run on even days.
The odd-even rule earlier exempted certain cars and vehicles which include all ambulances, hybrid and electric vehicles, VVIP and embassy vehicles, cars driven by women drivers, and two wheelers. Vehicles running on CNG will also be exempt from the odd-even rules.
Vehicles not complying with the odd-even scheme will be heavily fined with Rs 2,000. The fines will be collected on the spot so as to avoid vehicle impounds.
Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said that the Union government would implement the Uniform Civil Code in due course.
About uniform civil code:
Uniform civil Code is a proposal to have a generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion.
What the constitution says?
Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. According to this article, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.
India needs a Uniform Civil Code for the following reasons:
A secular republic needs a common law for all citizens rather than differentiated rules based on religious practices.
Another reason why a uniform civil code is needed is gender justice. The rights of women are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim. The practice of triple talaq is a classic example.
Many practices governed by religious tradition are at odds with the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.
Courts have also often said in their judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code including the judgement in the Shah Bano case.
Why UCC is not desirable at this point?
Secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country. Besides, cultural diversity cannot be compromised to the extent that our urge for uniformity itself becomes a reason for threat to the territorial integrity of the nation.
The term ‘secularism’ has meaning only if it assures the expression of any form of difference. This diversity, both religious and regional, should not get subsumed under the louder voice of the majority. At the same time, discriminatory practices within a religion should not hide behind the cloak of that faith to gain legitimacy.
Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan
The Environment Ministry is undertaking a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in 50 identified beaches under the “Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan”.
Aim: To make beaches clean and create awareness amongst citizens about the importance of coastal ecosystems – in Beaches across 10 states / UTs.
About Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan:
Launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
The campaign will be organized in the beaches after consultation with the state governments.
Environment Education Division and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the Environment Ministry will be responsible for its implementation.
At end of the drive, the best three beaches will be suitably awarded along with a certificate of appreciation for all the participating eco-clubs.
The implementation of the drive will be monitored by the MoEF&CC officials.
Brown to Green Report 2019
The 2019 Brown to Green Report has been published by the Climate Transparency partnership, an international research collaboration.
The report is the most comprehensive review of G20 countries’ climate performance, mapping achievements and drawbacks in their efforts to reduce emissions, adapt to climate impacts and green the financial system.
Carbon emissions from the world’s 20 biggest economies, including India, are rising.
None of the G20 countries have plans that will help them achieve the target. Many of the current 2030 climate targets under the Paris Agreement (Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) are too weak, with about half of the G20 countries projected to meet or overachieve their inadequate NDCs.
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in G20 countries shot up by 1.8 per cent in 2018 due to rising energy demand.
Energy supply is not getting cleaner: despite a more than five per cent rise in G20 total renewable energy supply in 2018, the share of fossil fuels in the G20 energy mix remains at 82 per cent.
While renewables now account for 25.5 per cent of power generation, this is not sufficient to outweigh the growth of emissions from fossil fuel sources.
Low-carbon fuels need to increase roughly 10 times by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
G20 emissions in the building sector grew more than in any other sector in 2018 (4.1 per cent). Retrofitting existing buildings challenges all G20 and especially OECD countries. New buildings have to be near zero-energy by 2020-25 to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.
Jal Jeevan Mission
The Union Minister for Water Resources recently reviewed the performance of Jal Jeevan Mission in the southern states.
About Jal Jeevan Mission:
The Mission was announced in August 2019.
The chief objective of the Mission is to provide piped water supply (Har Ghar Jal) to all rural and urban households by 2024.
It also aims to create local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household waste water for reuse in agriculture.
The Jal Jeevan Mission is set to be based on various water conservation efforts like point recharge, desilting of minor irrigation tanks, use of greywater for agriculture and source sustainability.
The Jal Jeevan Mission will converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
India has 16% of the world population, but only 4% of freshwater resources. Depleting groundwater level, overexploitation and deteriorating water quality, climate change, etc. are major challenges to provide potable drinking water.
It is an urgent requirement of water conservation in the country because of the decreasing amount of groundwater level. Therefore, the Jal Jeevan Mission will focus on integrated demand and supply management of water at the local level.
World’s first CNG port terminal
Gujarat Government has given its nod to the world’s first CNG port terminal at Bhavnagar.
The proposed CNG port terminal will have annual capacity of 6 million matric tone, which will increase the total handling capacity of the port to 9 million matric tones.
The new facility will be developed in the Northern side of present port, under which RoRo terminal, liquid terminal and container terminal will be developed in future.
The U.K. based Foresight group and Mumbai based Padmanabh Mafatlal group joint venture will invest Rs.1900 crore to set up a CNG port terminal at Bhavnagar port.
MoU for this project between Gujarat government arm Gujarat Maritime Board and London based Foresight Group was signed during the 2019 Vibrant Gujarat summit.
Anaemia Among Men In India
A recent study published in The Lancet Global Health looked at anaemia among men in India.
Nearly a quarter of men in the age group 15-54 had some form of anaemia.
Cases among men ranged from moderate or severe (5.1%) to severe anaemia (0.5%).
Among age groups, men in the group 20-34 years had the lowest probability of having anaemia, while actual prevalence was lowest in the age group 50-54, at 7.8%. The prevalence was higher for younger age groups.
Among men with anaemia, 21.7% had moderate or severe anaemia; among women with anaemia, 53.2% had moderate or severe anaemia.
Among the states, the highest prevalence of any anaemia was in Bihar, with 32.9% of the men reporting it. The lowest prevalence among men was in Manipur (9.19%).
A United States court ruled that a group of American-born tech workers have faced heightened job competition from work authorisations given to the spouses of H-1B visa holders.
The lottery-based H-1B visas allow US companies to employ foreign workers temporarily in specialised occupations for three years, extendable to six years.
The issuances are capped at 85,000 a year, but some employers such as universities and research nonprofits are exempt.
The H-1B visa has long-served as a common passage for Indians into the US. Out of the 4,19,637 H-1B applications in 2018, 74% came from India. Most beneficiaries are aged 25-34, and are in fields involving computers.
Spouses of H-1B workers are granted an H-4 visa, through which some have been allowed to apply to work in the US since a Barack Obama-era 2015 law.
Since the law was instituted, a total of 1,20,514 H-4 visas have been granted, of which 1,10,649 have come from India.