16 July Current Affairs
July 16, 2019
18 July Current Affairs
July 19, 2019
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17 July Current Affairs

HC quashes CRZ clearance for coastal road project

In News:

The Bombay High Court set aside the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances granted to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the ambitious Rs. 14,000-crore coastal road project, saying there was “serious lacuna” in the decision-making process. Pointing out that there was lack of proper scientific study, the court said environmental impact assessment (EIA) is required.


The court “upheld the notification dated December 30, 2015 amending the CRZ 2011 but holding that the clearance granted under CRZ-2011 by Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), expert appraisal committee (EAC) and Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) are illegal.”

What is coastal regulation zone (CRZ):

The coastal zone is a transition area between marine and territorial zones. It includes shore ecosystems, wetland ecosystems, mangrove ecosystems, mudflat ecosystems, sea grass ecosystems, salt marsh ecosystems and seaweed ecosystems.

Coastal Regulation Zone:

The Union Cabinet has approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018 which were last reviewed and issued in 2011.

CRZ Notification 2018 is based on the recommendations of Shailesh Nayak committee.

The notification was released after a series of representations received by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) from various Coastal States/UTs for a comprehensive review of the provisions of the CRZ Notification, 2011.

Objective of CRZ Regulations 2019:

  • To promote sustainable development based on scientific principles taking into account the natural hazards such as increasing sea levels due to global warming.
  • To conserve and protect the environment of coastal stretches and marine areas, besides livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities in the coastal area.

Salient Features of CRZ Regulations 2019:

Two separate categories for CRZ-III (Rural) areas:

CRZ-III A: The A category of CRZ-III areas are densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) as against 200 meters from the High Tide Line stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.

CRZ-III B – The B category of CRZ-III rural areas have population density of below 2161 per square kilometre as per 2011 Census. Such areas have a No Development Zone of 200 meters from the HTL.

Harichandan appointed A.P. Governor

In News:

Biswabhusan Harichandan has been appointed the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.


Appointment and tenure of governors: Quick look:

The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president for a term of 5 years.

Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor.

The term of governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president on the advice of the prime minister of the country, at whose pleasure the governor holds office or Resignation by the governor.

There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president.

ICJ to deliver verdict on Jadhav

In News:

As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague prepares to deliver its verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the government is pinning its hopes on two precedents, both in cases against the United States in 2001 and 2004, when the ICJ ruled for a review and revision of convictions.

About ICJ:

What is it?

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial body of the UN. Established in 1946 to replace the Permanent Court of International Justice, the ICJ mainly operates under the statute of its predecessor, which is included in the UN Charter.

It has two primary functions: to settle legal disputes submitted by States in accordance with established international laws, and to act as an advisory board on issues submitted to it by authorized international organizations.

Members of the Court:

The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms of office by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. These organs vote simultaneously but separately. In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies. In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years. Judges are eligible for re-election.

Who nominates the candidates?

Every state government, party to the Charter, designates a group who propose candidates for the office of ICJ judges. This group includes four members/jurists of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (machinery which enables arbitral tribunals to be set up as desired and facilitates their work) also picked by the State. Countries not part of the statute follow the same procedure where a group nominates the candidates.

Each group is limited to nominate four candidates, two of whom could be of their nationality. Within a fixed duration set by the Secretary-General, the names of the candidates have to be sent to him/her.

What are the qualifications of ICJ judges?

  • A judge should have a high moral character.
  • A judge should fit to the qualifications of appointment of highest judicial officers as prescribed by their respective states or.
  • A judge should be a juriconsult of recognized competence in international law.

The 15 judges of the Court are distributed as per the regions:

  • Three from Africa.
  • Two from Latin America and Caribbean.
  • Three from Asia.
  • Five from Western Europe and other states.
  • Two from Eastern Europe.

Independence of the Judges:

Once elected, a Member of the Court is a delegate neither of the government of his own country nor of that of any other State. Unlike most other organs of international organizations, the Court is not composed of representatives of governments. Members of the Court are independent judges whose first task, before taking up their duties, is to make a solemn declaration in open court that they will exercise their powers impartially and conscientiously.

In order to guarantee his or her independence, no Member of the Court can be dismissed unless, in the unanimous opinion of the other Members, he/she no longer fulfils the required conditions. This has in fact never happened.

Centre cites NGO’s letter on NRC

In News:

Seeking “sample re-verification” of Assam’s draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the Supreme Court, the Union Home Ministry, in its affidavit, attached a letter from an Assam-based NGO, had demanded an “error-free NRC”.


The Supreme Court has directed that the final NRC be published by July 31. If the fresh affidavit filed by the Ministry and the Assam government seeking “20% re-verification of names included in the final draft NRC in districts of Assam bordering Bangladesh and 10% verification in other districts” is admitted by the court, it would further push back the date of the final publication of the NRC. If the SC rejects the proposal.

Monitor biomedical waste management: NGT

In News:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all States and Union Territories to furnish a report on the amount of biomedical waste generated and asked them to set up common treatment and disposal facilities, if not done yet.


A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson directed the District Magistrates across States to monitor compliance of the biomedical waste management rules, twice a month.

Stating that a District Environment Plan needs to be in place across the country, the green panel further said that the plan can be operated by district committees comprising representatives from the respective panchayats, local bodies, regional officers and State pollution control boards.

Salient features of Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018 are as follows:

  1. Bio-medical waste generators including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories, blood banks, health care facilities, and clinical establishments will have to phase out chlorinated plastic bags (excluding blood bags) and gloves by March 27, 2019.
  2. All healthcare facilities shall make available the annual report on its website within a period of two years from the date of publication of the Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018.
  3. Operators of common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities shall establish bar coding and global positioning system for handling of bio-medical waste in accordance with guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board by March 27, 2019.
  4. The State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees have to compile, review and analyze the information received and send tis information to the Central Pollution Control Board in a new Form (Form IV A), which seeks detailed information regarding district-wise bio-medical waste generation, information on Health Care Facilities having captive treatment facilities, information on common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities.
  5. Every occupier, i.e. a person having administrative control over the institution and the premises generating biomedical waste shall pre-treat the laboratory waste, microbiological waste, blood samples, and blood bags through disinfection or sterilization on-site in the manner as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) or guidelines on safe management of wastes from health care activities and WHO Blue Book 2014 and then sent to the Common bio-medical waste treatment facility for final disposal.


In News:

Sangeet Natak Akademi Announced Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna), Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) and Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars for the Year 2018.

Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna): 

Following 4 eminent personalities in the field of performing arts have been selected for Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow (Akademi Ratna):

  • Zakir Hussain (Tabla Maestro),
  • Sonal Mansingh (Dancer),
  • Jatin Goswami (choreographer) and
  • Kalyanasundaram Pillai (Bharatnatyam exponent)

The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and rare honor, which is restricted to 40 numbers at any given time. By the election of above 4 fellows there are presently 40 Fellows of Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs.3,00,000/-

Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar):

44 artists have been selected from the field of Music, Dance, Theatre, Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre, Puppetry and Overall contribution/scholarship in the Performing Arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2018.

The artistes include, Mani Prasad in Hindustani Vocal, Tarun Bhattacharya for Hindustani Instrumental – Santoor, Radha Sridhar for Bharatanatyam, Akham Lakshmi Devi for Manipuri, Rajiv Naik for Playwriting and Malini Awasthi in Folk Music. The 44 artistes include three joint awards.

The honour of Akademi Award has been conferred since 1952.

These honours recognize sustained individual work and contribution.

The honour of Akademi Award carries a purse money of Rs.1,00,000/-.

The Awards will be conferred by the President of India at a special investiture ceremony.

Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskars:

The Sangeet Natak Akademi has selected 32 (Including one joint Awards) artists of India for Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2018.

The award is conferred upon artists below the age of 40 years who have made a mark as young talents in their respective fields of the performing arts.

It carries a purse money of Rs 25,000/-.

It will be presented at a special ceremony, by the Chairman, Sangeet Natak Akademi.

About The Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) –

Founded in 31st May 1952 [HQ: New Delhi]

The Sangeet Natak Akademi – India’s national academy for music, dance and drama – is the first National Academy of the arts set-up by the Republic of India.

It is presently an Autonomous Body of the Ministry of Culture, and is fully funded by the Government for implementation of its schemes and programmes.

It is the nodal agency of the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India to coordinate the matters related to Intangible Cultural Heritage and various UNESCO Conventions addressing Cultural Diversity and promotion and dissemination of multifarious cultural traditions and expressions of the country.


In News:

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by Rajya Sabha to amend the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008. It is yet to be passed by Lok Sabha.

Key highlights of amendment bill:

Definition of major airports: It amends the definition of “major airport” as any airport which has annual passenger traffic of over 35 lakh instead of existing 15 lakh.

Tariff determination by AERA: AERA would not determine tariff structures in the case of privatised airports as that was part of the bid offered at the time of the privatisation.

Internet Saathi

In News:

Google India’s ‘Internet Saathi’ programme has now added two more states — Punjab and Odisha.


Background: It was launched as a pilot project in 2015.

Bodies involved: It was launched by Google India along with Tata Trusts.

Objective of the programme: It aims to educate rural women on how to use the Internet. These women, in turn, impart training to other women in their community and neighbouring villages.

States covered: With the addition of Punjab and Odisha, the programme has now reached 20 states.


In News:

The Supreme Court has constituted a high powered committee to urgently frame an emergency response plan for the protection of Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican.

Lesser florican:

  • Scientific Name: Sypheotides indicus.
  • Distribution: It is endemic to India.
  • Weight: The lesser florican is the smallest bustard in the world, barely weighing 500-750 gms.

Great Indian Bustard:

  • Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps.
  • Distribution: Today, its population is confined mostly to Rajasthan and Gujarat. Small population also occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is the State bird of Rajasthan.
  • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972,
  • Listed in Appendix I of CITES,
  • Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List