1. Ease of Living Index
- Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh have been awarded the three best performing states under AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018, held in New Delhi.
Ease of Living index
- Ease of Living Index is a transformative initiative to help the cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis national and global benchmarks.
- By the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
- The Ease of Living Index seeks to assist cities in undertaking a 360-degree assessment of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Ease of Living framework comprised four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which are further broken down into 78 indicators across 15 categories.
- All cities were evaluated out of 100. The ‘physical’ pillar (infrastructure) was given the highest weightage of 45, while institutional (governance) and social were weighted 25 each. the economy was weighted 5.
- It was decided in June 2017 to rank 116 cities (all smart cities and million plus cities) based on the liveability parameters.
- The implementation of the assessment commenced formally on 19 January 2018.
- The MoHUA released the first ever ‘Ease of Living Index’ covering 111 Indian cities on 13 August, 2018.
2. Supreme Court asks Parliament to frame laws barring candidates accused of crimes from contesting elections
- Political parties have to display the criminal record of candidates who contest on their ticket on their official websites.
- Parties should also issue a declaration on the criminal antecedents of their candidates in a widely circulated publication.
- To facilitate this transparency by political parties, candidates should first give complete information about their criminal past or pending cases to political parties on whose ticket they intend to contest elections.
- This is to ensure that the ordinary voter can have an “informed choice” about who he has to vote for in a country “tired of money and muscle power,”.
- The CJI had pointed out that Parliament was obliged under Article 102 (1) (e) to make a law.
- A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament
- If he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament Explanation.
For the purposes of this clause, a person shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by reason only that he is a Minister either for the Union or for such State.
Source- The Hindu
3. Lawyers elected as lawmakers can practice in courts: SC
- The Supreme Court held that there is no bar on MPs and MLAs doubling up as lawyers.
- MPs and MLAs do not come under the definition of full-time paid employees of the state.
- The apex court upheld the earlier decision of the Bar Council of India, which had also declined to issue such a ban on legislators practicing as lawyers.
Bar Council of India
- The Bar Council of India is a statutory body.
- To regulate the legal practice and legal education in India.
- Its members are elected from amongst the lawyers in India and as such represents the Indian bar.
- It prescribes standards of professional conduct, etiquettes and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar.
- It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to Universities whose degree in law will serve as a qualification for students to enroll themselves as advocates upon graduation.
- Formed in 1961.
- The Bar Council of India consists of members elected from each state bar council, and the Attorney General of India and the Solicitor General of India who are ex officio members.
- The members from the state bar councils are elected for a period of five years.
Source- The Hindu
4. Supreme Court constitutes the committee to look into jail reforms.
- The Supreme Court constituted a three-member committee headed by its former judge Justice Amitava Roy to look into the aspect of jail reforms across the country and suggest measures to deal with them.
- It will look into the issues of overcrowding in prisons.
- The committee will also look into the various issues concerning women prisoners.
- It had earlier said that a committee should be set up to look into the issue on a day-to-day basis and suggest measures to tackle the problems since it includes the issue of human rights of prisoners in jails.
Source- The Hindu
5. mNeVA (NeVA-mobile app)
mNeVA (NeVA-mobile app)
- The mNeVA (NeVA-mobile app) is a device-neutral and user-friendly app.
- It has made information on the conduct of business in Legislatures accessible anytime, anywhere to everyone.
- It is a work-flow based app deployed in Cloud (Meghraj) which helps the Chair of the House to conduct the proceedings of the House smoothly and the members to carry out their duties in the House efficiently.
- NeVA has made live for Rajya Sabha in respect of Monsoon Session 2018 and information in respect of Lok Sabha is being updated.
- Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Manipur Assemblies have already started using the application.
- e-Vidhan is a Mission Mode Project to digitize and make the functioning of State Legislatures paperless.
- This is part of Digital India programme.
- Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, being the Nodal Ministry for this project.
- It desires to roll out e-Vidhan as NeVA covering all 40 Houses including two Houses of Parliament and thereby putting all them on a single platform and proving the theory of ‘One Nation One Application’.
- It is a project for bringing Legislatures on the digital platform, covering all Houses.
- It is to be used by the Legislatures as well as all the Government Departments.
- It started in Himachal Pradesh with the central assistance.
- It made the Shimla Legislative Assembly the first Assembly in India to go paperless in 2014.
6. Swelling of Beas river
With water level in the Pong Dam rising, the Bhakrha Beas Management Board (BBMB) dam authorities have decided to release 49,000 cusecs water from the dam in the Beas river.
- The Beas River is a river in north India.
- The river rises in the Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows for some 470 kilometers to the Sutlej River in Punjab.
- The Pong Dam, also known as the Beas Dam.
- It is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Beas River in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
- The purpose of the dam is water storage for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.
- As the second phase of the Beas Project, construction on the dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1974.
- At the time of its completion, the Pong Dam was the tallest of its type in India.
- The lake created by the dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar, became a renowned bird sanctuary.
7. Antyodaya Divas
- 25th September is observed as Antyodaya Diwas every year to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
- Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was one of the great thinker and philosopher of the nationalist movement of the country.
Antyodaya means uplifting the poorest of the poor.
8. Energy savings exceed 30 pc of the target under the PAT scheme
Perform Achieve Trade (PAT) scheme
- The Perform Achieve Trade (PAT) is an innovative, market-based trading scheme announced by the Indian Government in 2008.
- It is under the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) in the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
- It aims to improve energy efficiency in industries by trading in energy efficiency certificates in energy-intensive sectors.
- The scheme is being designed and implemented by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under the Ministry of Power of India.
- The PAT Scheme is being implemented in three phases- the first phase runs from 2012-2015 covering 478 facilities from eight energy-intensive sectors, namely aluminum, cement, chor-alkali, fertilizer, iron and steel, pulp and paper, textiles and thermal power plants.
- The PAT scheme establishes plant-specific targets rather than a sectoral target.
National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)
- National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change.
- It was taken by the Indian government to promote the market for energy efficiency by fostering innovative policies and effective market instruments.
- Its roots lie in the overall objective of The Energy Conservation Act of 2001.
- The mission document, which was approved in 2010.
- NMEEE includes four specific energy efficiency initiatives under its umbrella.
- Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT): Assigning energy reduction targets to large energy-intensive industries and distributing Energy Saving Certificates (ESCerts) on the achievement of the targets. These ESCerts can then be traded.
- Market Transformation for Energy Efficiency (MTEE): Promoting the adoption of energy efficient equipment and appliances through innovative business models.
- Energy Efficiency Financing Platform (EEFP): Increasing the confidence of financial institutions and investors to support energy efficiency initiatives.
- Framework for Energy Efficiency Economic Development (FEEED): Promoting energy efficiency initiatives by hedging against investment risks.
9. India falls below Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan in air safety audit
- India’s air safety oversight score is lower than that of Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and even North Korea in the Asia-Pacific region.
- The only countries that rank below India are small and little known such as Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Samoa.
- In the aviation-safety audit conducted late last year by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), India has slipped below its previous ranking of 66% to 57%.
- India is one of the 15 countries that are below the minimum target rates.
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
- The International Civil Aviation is a specialized agency of the United Nations.
- It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.
- Its headquarters is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Formed on 4th April, 1947.
- ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.
Source- Economic Times
10. India only SAARC country to have a quit-line number for tobacco users.
- India has become the first and only SAARC country to have a quit-line number on tobacco.
- The Union Health Ministry has already made 85% pictorial health warning mandatory on both sides of packets containing cigarettes, bidis, and chewing tobacco.
- The quit-line number will be printed on all tobacco products manufactured after September 1, 2018.
- For smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products, the words ‘Tobacco causes cancer’ and ‘Tobacco causes painful death’ shall appear in white font on a red background and the words ‘Quit today call — 1800-11-2356’ shall appear in white font on a black background,
- India is the fourth country in Asia after Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore to have this government helpline for those looking at quitting tobacco.
- At least 46 countries have quit-line numbers as part of health warning labels on tobacco product packaging.
- The current pictorial warnings on both sides of packages of cigarettes, bidis and all forms of chewing tobacco products in India came into effect from April 2016, following the direction of the Rajasthan High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court.
- They have been in effect for almost two years.
- India’s current international ranking for package warnings is number three in the world.
Source- The Hindu