Current affair of 8th August 2019.

1. Parliament passed the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019

Parliament passed the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019 which amends the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. The Act provides for the eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises in certain cases. The Bill has strict provisions to evict illegal occupants from government property allotted to members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and government officials.

Key highlights:
  1. The Bill was introduced by the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, in Lok Sabha on July 8, 2019 and was passed by it on July 31, 2019. It was passed by Rajya Sabha on August 6, 2019.
  2. The Bill defines ‘residential accommodation occupation’ as the occupation of public premises by a person on the grant of a license for such an occupation.
  3. The license must be given for a fixed tenure, or for the period the person holds office. The occupation must be allowed under the rules made by the central, state or union territory government, or a statutory authority such as Parliament Secretariat, or a central government company, or premises belonging to a state government.
  4. It requires an estate officer (an officer of the central government) to issue a written notice to a person if he is in unauthorised occupation of a residential accommodation. The notice will require the person to show the cause- why an eviction order should not be made against him, within 3 working days. The written notice must be fixed to a conspicuous part of the accommodation, in a prescribed manner.
  5. After considering the cause shown, and making any other inquiries, the estate officer will make an order for eviction.  If the person fails to comply with the order, the estate officer may evict such person from the residential accommodation, and take possession of it.  For this purpose, the estate officer may also use such force as necessary.
2. Rajya Sabha passed the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Rajya Sabha passed the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to declare the 4 National Institutes of Design (NID) in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Haryana as institutions of national importance. It amends the National Institute of Design Act, 2014.

Key highlights:
  1. The Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of Commerce and Industry Mr. Piyush Goyal on July 30, 2019. The National Institute of Design Act, 2014 declares the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Gujarat as an institution of national importance.
  2. Currently, the 4 institutes in Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal), Assam (Jorhat) and Haryana (Kurukshetra) are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  3. They do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas. They will be given the power to grant degrees and diplomas only after being declared as institutions of national importance.
3. Centre unveils coastal zone management plan

The Environment Ministry, unveiled the draft Environment and Social Management Framework(ESMF) funded by the World Bank (WB) for integrated coastal management. It lays out guidelines for the coastal states to adopt and approve and regulate infrastructure projects in the coastal zones before applying for clearance.

Key highlights:
  1. The coastal management plan seeks to assist Govt. of India in resource efficiency and resilience enhancement.
  2. The documents related to this project was prepared by Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) which is an Environment ministry affiliated body.
  3. Funded by the WB, three states namely Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal have prepared the Integrated Coastal Management Plans (ICZM).
  4. National Coastal Zone Management Programme(NCZMP), ICZM- West Bengal, ICZM-Odisha and ICZM-Gujarat.
  5. The following proposed activities are for Livelihood improvements. They are climate resilient and salinity resistant agriculture, water harvesting, infrastructure creation to support eco-tourism, small scale mariculture, seaweed cultivation, aquaponics (waste produced by farm fish used as nutrient supply for plant growth, thus purifying water).
4. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting launched e-Rozgar Samachar to spread awareness about job opportunities

Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the e-version of Rozgar Samachar with a view to make aspirants aware of job opportunities in government sector including public sector enterprises. The journal has been priced at 75% of the cost of its print version and is available for an annual subscription fee of Rs. 400.

Key highlights:
  1. It can be accessed through the website
  2. Employment News provides editorial content on socio-economic issues and career guidance that helps youth in broadening their horizons.
  3. It is the corresponding version of Employment News (English). Employment News is the flagship weekly job journal from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. It was launched in 1976. The journal is published in English(Employment News), Hindi (Rozgar Samachar) and Urdu (Rozgar Samachar) and has a circulation of over one lakh copies per week. It is available through out India every Saturday.
5. UNIDO and NISE inked an agreement for skill development program

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) signed an agreement to initiate a skill development programme for different levels of beneficiaries in the solar thermal energy sector. It was signed by Mr René van Berkel, UNIDO Representative in India and Dr AK Tripathi, Director General of NISE in UNIDO Office.

Key highlights:
  1. Both entities will bring the best practices by developing specialized training material.
  2. Agreement is a part of the ongoing MNRE-GEF-UNIDO project implemented jointly by UNIDO.
  3. It will support capacity building and skill development of technical manpower in the Concentrated Solar Thermal Energy Technologies (CST) which will replace conventional fossil fuels.
6. IIT Madras partners with NIOT for ocean wave electricity harnessing

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) have partnered together for developing turbines that can generate electricity by harnessing the ocean waves.

Key highlights:
  1. The research is headed by Abdus Samad of IIT Madras from Ocean Engineering department.
  2. Work on producing electricity through wave energy has been going on since 1983 by department of Ocean Engineering at IIT Madras.
  3. The research work is published in the International Journal of Energy Research.
  4. This project is funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences and currently work is going on for turbine chamber coupling.
7. Papua New Guinea has the highest number of ‘living’ languages in the world, India ranks 4th 

According to Ethnologue, a directory of languages which lists 7,111 living languages (languages that are still being used and spoken by people) worldwide, Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, Country in Oceania tops the list with 840 living languages, while India ranks 4th position with 453.

Key highlights:
  1. The other nations in top 5 position include, Indonesia (2nd ) with 710 living languages and Nigeria(3rd with 524) and US (United States) came 5th with 335.
  2. 3,741 languages out of 7,111 living languages, have fewer than 1,000 speakers.
  3. Family with high languages but spoken by few some language families are very diverse in nature and have several languages, but are spoken by only a small percentage of the population (Trans-New Guinea family has 478 languages but spoken by just 0.05% of the total language speakers).
  4. Indo-European family has 445 languages including Spanish, English, German, Punjabi and Bengali and has highest percentage of speakers with 46.31%.
  5. In 2016, United Nation’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) highlighted that 40% of estimated 6,700 languages spoken around world were in danger of disappearing.
  6. Since 1950, 228 languages have become extinct as per the UNESCO’s(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ) ‘Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger’.
8. ADB approved $200 mln to improve road infrastructure in 34 districts of Maharashtra

Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $200 million loan for improving road infrastructure in 34 districts of Maharashtra to connect rural areas with markets and services. The total cost of the project is $296 million. The government will provide $96 million.

Key highlights:
  1. The upgraded roads will boost links between local residents, productive agricultural land, and economic centers across the state.
  2. The project will work with the rural infrastructure agency, the Maharashtra Rural Road Development Association (MRRDA), to develop road safety, road asset management, contract management, and climate resilient design.
  3. The project will be completed by September 30, 2024.
9. SBI Life Insurance and Indian Bank signed a Bancassurance agreement 

One of the oldest public sector lenders, Indian Bank has signed a bancassurance agreement with the leading private life insurer, SBI (State Bank of India)Life Insurance to provide SBI’s suite of insurance products to its customers.

Key highlights:
  1. SBI life insurance products will now be available in Indian Bank’s customers spread across its over 2,851 branches.
  2. SBI Life’s extensive product portfolio comprises protection, savings, health, credit life, etc., insurances.
  3. To offer life insurance policies, SBI life joins with Indian Bank to ensure sales training, product support, and smooth operational processes.
  4. Through this tie-up, SBI life will deepen the penetration of its product offers and enable more customers across the country to access their risk solutions.
10. Wild elephant population census as per 2017, released

Union environment ministry that released the wild elephant population census, taken once in every five years by India state of Forest report has estimated that there are totally 29,964 elephants in the country as per the 2017 census which is a bit high compared to the 2012 elephant census having 29,576 elephants.

Key highlights:
  1. Southern part of India accounts for 14,612 elephants while the north east is estimated with 10,139 elephants.
  2. Kerala has witnessed a marginal drop in the elephant count as there are only 5706 elephants compared to 6177 elephants in the 2012 census even though there was a record high of 190 wild cats(tigers) against 136 in the recent wild cat census.
11. India observes 77th anniversary of Quit India movement on August 8, 2019

The 77th anniversary of Quit India Movement, also known as August Kranti Andolan, was celebrated across India on 8 August 2019. The Quit India movement aimed to help India attain complete independence, a historic milestone in the Indian freedom struggle, had begun on 8 August 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. India gained independence 5 years after the movement.

Key highlights:
  1. Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu was addressing a gathering in New Delhi after Gandhian, Dr. Shobana Radhakrishna delivered Gandhi Katha (a narrative on the clarion call given by Mahatma Gandhi to the British to Quit India)He also stated that the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi are eternally relevant. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the valuable contribution of the freedom fighters and highlighted the significance of August Kranti in the long-drawn struggle.
  2. After the failure of Cripps Mission (British government’s attempt to secure full Indian cooperation and support for their efforts in World War II), On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi launched a mass protest demanding what he called “an orderly British withdrawal” from India. Gandhiji gave a slogan of ‘Do or Die’ delivered at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai. Almost the entire Indian National Congress leadership was sent to jail without trial within hours after Gandhiji’s speech.
  3. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only supporter of India, was constantly pressurizing the British Prime minister (PM)Winston Churchill to agree on some of the demands Indians made, but Britishers denied every call and averted everything till the war was over. Only then Gandhiji was imprisoned at Aga Khan Palace in Pune and almost all leaders were arrested.

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