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July 15, 2019
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July 17, 2019
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16 July Current Affairs

Karnataka CM to seek trust vote

In News:

The political uncertainty in Karnataka is headed for a climax with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy set to face a trust vote.

What is trust vote?

A motion proposed in a parliament or other assembly to give members the chance to express their confidence in a government; sometimes proposed by a government to counter a vote of no confidence proposed by the opposition; defeat would lead to the resignation of the government.

What is a no-confidence motion?

A no-confidence motion is a parliamentary motion which is moved in the Lok Sabha against the entire council of ministers, stating that they are no longer deemed fit to hold positions of responsibility due to their inadequacy in some respect or their failure to carry out their obligations. No prior reason needs to be stated for its adoption in the Lok Sabha.

How it works?

At least 50 MPs would need to stand up and support the move. If there are 50 MPs in favour, the motion is admitted and the speaker allots a date for discussion on the motion. The prime minister or ministers reply to the charges made. The mover has the right to reply. After the debate, the speaker puts question to the house and ascertains the decision of the house by voice vote or a division.

Grounds:

A Motion of No-confidence need not set out any grounds on which it is based.  Even when grounds are mentioned in the notice and read out in the House, they do not form part of the no-confidence Motion.

Implications:

The government is expected to resign if it loses a trust vote. In case its refuses to do so, the President has the power to remove the prime minister. In the history of Indian Parliament, no Prime Minister has been forcibly removed so far.  After a government loses a trust vote and resigns, it continues to function, but as a caretaker government with almost the same powers as it had before the voting.

However, a caretaker government wouldn’t have the power to take any major policy decisions since Parliament remains dissolved. A new government gets elected after the general elections.

Moon mission launch aborted

In News:

India’s ambitious second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, suffered a temporary setback in the early hours of Monday, with the launch of the rocket being aborted 56 minutes before the scheduled lift-off.

Details:

The mission was aimed at putting a rover on the moon’s South Pole, where no country has gone before.

The countdown was stopped at ‘T Minus 56 minutes’ after Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists found a glitch in the launch vehicle system. ISRO had completed filling of liquid hydrogen in the cryogenic stage of the GSLV MK-III-M1, which is capable of carrying satellites of up to four tonnes, at 1.34 a.m. But 22 minutes later, the countdown clock stopped ticking at 56.24 minutes to launch.

The launch is called off due to a snag. It is not possible to make the launch within the window. The launch schedule will be announced later.

Big boost for State, to be made ‘development partner’ of World Bank

In News:

Giving a big boost to the ongoing efforts to mobilise Rs. 36,506.88 crore from multiple sources for implementing the Rebuild Kerala Development Programme (RKDP), the World Bank (WB) has decided to accord ‘development partner’ status to Kerala to enhance the State’s resilience to the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

About World Bank (WB):

The World Bank (French: Banque mondiale) is an international financial institution that provides interest-free loans and grants to the governments of poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

The World Bank Group is an extended family of five international organizations, and the parent organization of the World Bank, the collective name given to the first two listed organizations, the IBRD and the IDA:

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • International Development Association (IDA)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The president of the World Bank is, traditionally, an American. The World Bank and the IMF are both based in Washington, D.C., and work closely with each other.

Amended Motor Vehicles Bill reintroduced

In News:

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act were re-introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the Lok Sabha. These bills had lapsed since they had not been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Details:

The Bill proposes huge increases in various penalties for traffic violations, protection to Good Samaritans, recall of defective vehicle parts by auto companies, holding builders accountable for poor quality of infrastructure and making vehicle owners criminally liable for violations committed by juvenile drivers.

96 per cent of the consumers surveyed believed that passage of the Bill would help meet the UN mandate to reduce road accidents up to 50 per cent by 2020.

The Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 is an important legislation as it will radically change the 30-year-old law.

Below are some of the important proposals in the Bill:

1) It makes Aadhaar mandatory for getting a driving licence and vehicle registration.

2) For deaths in hit-and-run cases, the government will provide a compensation of Rs 2 lakh or more to the victim’s family. Currently, the amount is just Rs 25,000.

3) In traffic violations by juveniles, the guardians or owner of the vehicle would be held responsibile unless they prove the offence was committed without their knowledge or they tried to prevent it. The registration of the motor vehicle in question will be cancelled. The juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.

4) The bill has provision for protection of Good Samaritans. Those who come forward to help accident victims will be protected from civil or criminal liability. It will be optional for them to disclose their identity to the police or medical personnel.

5) The minimum fine for drunk driving has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000.

6) The fine for rash driving has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.

7) Driving without a licence will attract a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 as against Rs 500 at present.

8) The fine for over-speeding will go up from Rs 400 to Rs 1,000-2,000.

9) Not wearing seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs 1,000 as against Rs 100 at present.

10) Talking on a mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of Rs 5,000, up from Rs 1,000.

11) A Motor Vehicle Accident Fund will provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents.

12) It will be mandatory to alter vehicles to make them suitable for specially abled people.

13) Contractors, consultants and civic agencies will be accountable for faulty design, construction or poor maintenance of roads leading to accidents.

14) A time limit of six months has been specified for an application of compensation to the C ..

15) The Bill removes the cap on liability for third-party insurance. The 2016 Bill had capped the maximum liability at Rs 10 lakh in case of death and Rs 5 lakh in case of grievous injury.

16) The time limit for renewal of driving licence is increased from one month to one year before and after the expiry date.

17) The government can recall vehicles whose components or engine do not meet the required standards. Manufacturers can be fined up to Rs 500 crore in case of sub-standard components or engine.

Centre Introduces Bill In Lok Sabha To Ban Commercial Surrogacy

In News:

The government today introduced the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha that also provides for constitution of surrogacy boards at national and state levels.

Details:

Commercial surrogacy will soon be banned and only close relatives will be permitted to act as surrogates to infertile couples for “ethical altruistic” reasons.

The government introduced the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha that also provides for constitution of surrogacy boards at national and state levels, as well as that the intending couples should not abandon such a child under any condition.

Only Indian couples who have been legally married for at least five years would be allowed to opt for surrogacy.

The bill seeks to “allow ethical altruistic surrogacy to the intending infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23-50 years and 26-55 years for female and male, respectively”.

A woman should be allowed to act as a surrogate mother only once and should be a close relative of the intending couple and “should be an ever married woman having a child of her own and between the age of 25-35 years”.

India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries for past few years.

“Due to lack of legislation to regulate surrogacy, the practice of surrogacy has been misused by surrogacy clinics, which leads to rampant commercial surrogacy and unethical practices…”.

The bill was passed by Lok Sabha in December, 2018 but lapsed as it could not get nod from Parliament.

More funds sought for AYUSH Ministry

In News:

Rajya Sabha members sought more funding for the Ayush Ministry, better regulatory mechanisms, quality education and research infrastructure to promote traditional systems of medicine in the country.

About AYUSH:

The Government has launched the National AYUSH Mission with the objectives of providing cost effective AYUSH Services, with a universal access through upgrading AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries, co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs),  strengthening  institutional capacity at the state level through upgrading AYUSH educational institutions, State Govt.

The resource allocation to the States/UTs is proposed on the basis of population, backwardness and performance of the State/UT. This will ensure a predictable and balanced allocation to the States taking into account equity, performance and backwardness.

At the Centre, Department of AYUSH would be responsible as the nodal Department for implementing National AYUSH Mission. The Mission will be steered by a National AYUSH Mission (NAM) Directorate, Chaired by Secretary, Department of AYUSH.

12 Indian beaches in the race to crest the ‘Blue Flag’ challenge

In News:

The Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.

Details:

About Blue flag project:

Launched in December 2017 by the Environment Ministry, the prime objective of the project is to enhance standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches. Under the project, each state or union territory has been asked to nominate a beach which will be funded through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme.

Criteria for certification:

To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a beach has to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism-related conditions. The standards were established by the Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985. For example- a beach must be plastic-free and equipped with a waste management system. Clean water should be available for tourists, apart from international amenities. The beach should have facilities for studying the environmental impact around the area.

Selected Beaches:

Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).

New species of ancient lizard named after Hindu god Indra

In News:

A team of researchers has discovered a new specimen of a microraptor with the remains of a nearly complete lizard preserved in its stomach.

Details:

The lizard is unlike any previously known from the Cretaceous period and represents a new species: Indrasaurus wangi . The name Indrasaurus was inspired by a Vedic legend in which Hindu god Indra was swallowed by a dragon during a great battle.

The research team ran an extensive phylogenetic analysis of Cretaceous lizards and showed that all known Cretaceous species were more closely related to each other than to any modern lineage.

The new lizard had teeth unlike any other previously known from the Jehol Biota. The Jehol Biota includes all the living organisms of northeastern China between 133 and 120 million years ago.

This is the fourth documented occurrence of a microraptor preserving stomach contents — this dinosaur is now known to have fed on mammals, birds, fish, and lizards, supporting the interpretation that it was an opportunistic predator. There are now 20 predator-prey relationships documented through direct evidence of stomach contents.

 

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