Daily Current Affairs 22nd February, 2017
Gujarat Assembly passes Aadhaar Bill, 2017
- The Gujarat Assembly passed Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017 to empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner.
- This bill will help the government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries. The assembly also passes two other bills which includes the Gujarat Panchayats (Amendment) Bill and the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development (Amendment) Bill
Amnesty faults sedition law
- Amnesty International has released its State of the World’s Human Rights Report for the year 2016-17. AI’s annual report is a comprehensive survey of the state of human rights in 159 countries
- The report has expressed concerns over a range of human rights violations in India. It has slammed the use of legislation such as the Foreign Currency (Regulation) Act (FCRA) and the sedition law to silence government critics and crack down on civil society organisations.
- It noted the suspension of FCRA registration of Lawyers Collective, and government’s refusal to renew the FCRA licences of 25 NGOs “without offering valid reasons”, which constitute a violation of the right to freedom of association.
- The report expressed concerns over extra-judicial killings in different States, including Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh.
- The report criticised the Indian state’s handling of the protests in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
- It pointed out that India’s draft national education policy released last August “made no mention of human rights education.”
- The report notes, “Human rights activists and journalists faced intimidation and attacks from both state and non-state actors in India.”
- The report also noted that “Dalits and Adivasis continued to face widespread abuses”.
- Besides, the report drew attention to India’s amendment to the child labour law, which allows children under 14 to work in “family enterprises”, and children between 14 and 18 years to work in occupations not classified as “hazardous.”
No info on number of accounts with large deposits post Nov 8, 2016
- The RBI is not aware of the number of bank accounts in which more than Rs 2.5 lakh in the scrapped currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were deposited between November 8 and December 30, 2016 under the Right to Information Act.
- The RBI also did not have the number of accounts in co-operative banks in which more than Rs 2.5 lakh were deposited in the scrapped notes during the period.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
Four new tiny frog species found in Western Ghats:
- Scientists exploring the forests of the Western Ghats have come across four new species of tiny frogs no bigger than a human thumbnail.
- The newly discovered frogs include: Athirappilly Night Frog, Sabarimala Night Frog, Radcliffe’s Night frog and the Kadalar Night Frog.
- These species are among the seven new ‘Night Frogs’ discovered by the researchers.
- Night Frogs belong to the Nyctibatrachus genus endemic to the Western Ghats and represent an ancient group of frogs that diversified on the Indian landmass approximately 70 to 80 million years ago.
National Biodiversity Congress 2017 held in Kerala
- The National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) 2017 was held in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala. The event is hosted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board. NBC is one of the significant biodiversity mega events of the country.
- It aims to identify practical, evidence-based case studies at the regional level to support the plan of action.
- The focal theme of 2017 NBC was “Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”.
Corbett gets nod to kill poachers
- In a stringent anti-poaching measure, authorities at Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) have issued shoot-at-sight orders “to prevent killing of big cats in the reserve”.
- Besides the shoot-at-sight orders, various other steps are being taken by the authorities, including barring villagers in the vicinity from entering the protected area and subjecting visitors to the park to extensive frisking.
- Corbett National Park is situated in the foothills of the Sub- Himalayan belt in Nainital districts of Uttarakhand state in India.
Indian Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel commissioned in Goa
- Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu commissioned the fourth ship of Indian Coast Guard named ‘Shaunak’, in the series of six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) in Vasco, located in South Goa.
- ‘Shaunak’ has been designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Ltd that can carry one twin engine light helicopter and five high speed boats.