Polity & Governance
- President promulgates the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016
- Centre recasts panel helping Krishna Board
Environment & Ecology
- NGT bans open waste burning
Science & Technology
- Pregnant women’s stem cells could treat osteoporosis, say scientists
Key Facts for Prelims
- Google Maps Toilet Locator App
- National Mathematics Day
- “Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre”
- Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana
Polity & Governance
President promulgates the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016
The President of India has promulgated the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016.
What is this ordinance all about?
After the Indo-China aggression in 1962, specific properties of Chinese nationals in India were vested in the Custodian in terms of Defence of India Rules, 1962. Subsequently, after the Indo-Pak conflict in 1965 & 1971, the movable / immovable properties of Pakistani nationals automatically got vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India and their vesting was continued in the Custodian by the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
- The Government of Pakistan has disposed of all the properties of Indians impounded by them in Pakistan, including in erstwhile East Pakistan. Taking advantage of the interpretations of various judgments passed by the courts, claims are being made to regain these properties by the legal heirs and successors of the enemy nationals.
- To prevent the vested properties, the Ordinance for the first time was promulgated on 7th January, 2016.
- The amendments in the ordinance are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the principal Act to ensure that the enemy properties worth thousands of crores of rupees vested in the Custodian do not revert to the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm.
About Enemy Properties Bill:
Enemy Properties Bill includes amendments to plug the loopholes of the Enemy Property Act, 1968. The bill is lying in the parliament.
The amendments include:
- Once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death and others.
- The law of succession does not apply to enemy property. There cannot be transfer of any property vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm and that the Custodian shall preserve the enemy property till it is disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
- A new section has been inserted in the Bill to say that “the Custodian, may, after making such inquiry as he deems necessary, by order, declare that the property of the enemy or the enemy subject or the enemy firm described in the order, vests in him under this Act and issue a certificate to this effect and such certificate shall be the evidence of the facts stated therein”.
Centre recasts panel helping Krishna Board
The Union Water Resources Ministry has reconstituted a committee that was tasked with assisting the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
- The new committee will be headed by A.K. Bajaj, former chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC).
- The committee is tasked with assisting KRMB to prepare a manual on how projects, common to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, ought to be handled.
- It also has to decide how the Godavari waters ought to be transferred to the Krishna Basin in accordance with the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal Award.
The committee was reconstituted based on the demand of Telangana government after it had opposed the earlier Mohile committee’s recommendation considering it as one-sided and biased against Telangana.
The earlier committee was constituted in September 2016 to suggest a mechanism for facilitating the effective functioning of the KRMB as per the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.[Ref: The Hindu]
Environment & Ecology
NGT bans open waste burning
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed a complete ban on burning of waste in open places, including at landfill sites, across the country and announced a fine of Rs. 25,000 on each incident of bulk waste burning.
- The green panel’s judgement was given on the petition seeking directions to local bodies in states and Centre for improving solid waste management methods.
Highlights of the NGT judgement:
- For each incident of bulk waste burning, violators will pay environmental compensation of Rs. 5,000 in case of simple burning and Rs. 25,000 in case of bulk waste burning.
- States and UTs to enforce and implement Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in a time-bound manner.
- Union Environment Ministry and all States must pass appropriate directions in relation to the ban on short-life Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and chlorinated plastics within a period of six months.
- Establish and operationalise of plants for processing and disposal of the waste and selection and specifications of landfill sites
- Non-biodegradable waste and non-recyclable plastic should be segregated from the landfill sites. It must be used for construction of roads and embankments in all road projects all over country.
Science & Technology
Pregnant women’s stem cells could treat osteoporosis, say scientists
Scientists form UK found that stem cells gathered from pregnant women’s amniotic fluid can be used to strengthen bones.
What is amniotic fluid?
- Amniotic fluid is the protective fluid that surrounds baby in the uterus and helps it to develop inside the mother’s womb.
- It also contains stem cells that are the building blocks of other tissues.
What is osteoporosis?
- Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both.
- As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.
- When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone.
- Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure. As bones become less dense, they weaken and are more likely to break.
- Brittle bone disease is rare in newborns, but around 70 babies are born in Britain with brittle bones every year, with fractures throughout the body lasting a lifetime.
Significance of the discovery:
- The discovery could have a “profound effect” on the three million Britons who suffer from osteoporosis, or weak bones.
- It could even help strengthen the bones of astronauts who spend long periods in space.
Key Facts for Prelims
Google Maps Toilet Locator App
- Ministry of Urban Development has launched a Google Map toilet locator to help people find public restrooms.
- Google Maps will provide information on thousands of public toilets in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida and the two cities (Bhopal and Indore) of Madhya Pradesh. This facility will be extended to other cities in due course.
- It would help in addressing open urination and open defecation.
- Ministry of Urban Development has partnered with Google to enable this service.
- The App also gives information about the nature of the toilet seat available, free or pay for use, working hours etc. Toilets can be located not just through the app on mobile phones (Android and iOS), but on desktop computers as well.
National Mathematics Day
- To commemorate the birth anniversary great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, the National Mathematics Day as observed on December 22, 2015, across India.
- The Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22 December 1887 and died on 26 April 1920.
- It was in recognition of his contribution to mathematics the Government of India decided to celebrate Ramanujan’s birthday as the National Mathematics Day every year and in 2011 National Mathematics Day was instituted to celebrate Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary.
- Besides, the year 2012 was also declared National Mathematics Year.
“Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre”
- The Ministry of Textiles has decided to establish a “Bunkar Mitra-Handloom Helpline Centre” where professional queries of weavers will be answered by the experts in the field.
- It will be provided in 7 languages viz., Hindi, English, and 5 other regional languages (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada Bengali & Assamese).
- Currently 28 Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs) are functioning across the country to provide technical assistance to handloom weavers in improving their skills. For seeking assistance, weavers have to personally visit the WSCs. As on date, there is no single point of contact where weavers can seek solutions for their technical issues/problems. The helpline aims to overcome these problems.
Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana
- The Odisha Government launched the Biju Sishu Surakshya Yojana, a scheme to nurture the orphan and HIV-infected children residing in different child care institutions and orphanages.
- The main aim of the scheme is to facilitate care and protection towards orphans and HIV infected children of the state.
- It will act and supplement for providing additional resources and complementary modalities to the existing centrally sponsored schemes.
- It is Japan’s solid fuel rocket, recently launched by Japan’s space agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
- It is a 26-meter-long rocket. It will orbit in a highly elliptical orbit, getting as close to Earth as 350 kilometers and as far away as 30,000 km.
- This path will take the satellite through the Van Allen radiation belts, where the earth’s magnetic field traps huge numbers of fast-moving electrons and other particles.
- The Epsilon-2 three-stage rocket is part of a new generation of solid propellant rockets and makes it possible for launch costs to be reduced up to one third.