Special report by NCST on Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People presented to president

  • Dr. Nand Kumar Sai, Chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), presented a special report of the Commission on “Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People” to the President of India Ramnath Kovind.

  • The report and recommendations are under Article 338A(5)(e) of the Constitution on the measures to be taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the effective implementation of constitutional safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes who are affected on account of Polavaram Irrigation Project, Andhra Pradesh.


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Recommendations of the commission are as follows:

  • The state government should provide only land fit for agriculture to PDFs/PFs within the command area of Polavaram Irrigation Project with proper irrigation as the alternative land given to them in lieu of the acquired land is not cultivable - either it is rocky terrain or there is no water.

  • The Commission noted that many ST people without land holdings were also shifted. They were hitherto depending on minor forest produces for their livelihood. Now that they are shifted, they are deprived of their livelihood. The State Government needs to take care of them by providing alternative means of livelihood.

  • The Commission recommended that the destroyed houses should be re-built immediately to mitigate the sufferings of ST people.

  • The compensation packages in respect of Polavaram Irrigation project need to be revised on suo-moto basis by the Government of Andhra Pradesh keeping in view the observations and modalities suggested by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

  • The Commission feels that a similar scheme as per the above Supreme Court order will help the Scheduled Tribe people affected by Polavaram Irrigation Project as their right to fair compensation.

  • Further, the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation, Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act be kept in mind and used to the advantage of the tribals in the best possible manner.

Special Category Status (SCS) not feasible, Centre tells Supreme Court

  • The Central government filed a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court on 4th July expressing its inability to give Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh and said all commitments under the A.P. Reorganisation Act (APRA), 2014 had been addressed.
  • It furnished details in the form of an annexure listing out the financial and other forms of assistance given to the State since bifurcation.
  • The affidavit was in response to a writ petition filed in the apex court by Telangana Congress leader Ponguleti Sudhakar, who pleaded for clarity on issues concerning his State and Andhra Pradesh post-bifurcation, setting up of the steel plant at Bayyaram and the extent of submergence likely to be caused by Polavaram project.


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  • The Central government said in the affidavit Rs. 15,970 crore had been released to the successor State of A.P. for three years (2015-18) out of the post-devolution revenue deficit grant of Rs. 22,113 crore for 2015-20 on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.
  • The Centre said of the State’s revenue gap which stood at approximately Rs. 4,120 crore, it released nearly Rs. 3,970 crore and the balance was being paid.
  • It said Rs. 2,500 crore was given towards the construction of capital city Amaravati and another Rs. 1,000 crore would be sanctioned in the coming three years at Rs. 333.30 crore per year.


Lieutenant-Governor is bound by ‘aid and advice’ of Council of Ministers: Constitution Bench

  • A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court unanimously held on 4th July that Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal is bound by the “aid and advice” of the Arvind Kejriwal government.
  • In case of difference of opinion, the L-G should straightaway refer the dispute to the President for a final decision without sitting over it or stultifying the governance in the National Capital, the Bench said.
  • It concluded that the governance of Delhi cannot rest upon the whims of one functionary — the Lieutenant-Governor.
  • Chief Justice Misra, along with Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan in their separate but concurring opinions, cautioned the L-G against sending every “trivial” dispute with the government to the President.


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  • The Supreme Court followed the 1987 Balakrishnan report to conclude that Delhi is not a State. The report had envisaged that Delhi could not have a situation in which the national capital had “two governments run by different political parties. Such conflicts may, at times, prejudice the national interest.”
  • Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in his leading opinion for the Bench, reproduced excerpts from the report, which said, “Delhi as the national capital belongs to the nation as a whole.”
  • The report foresaw that if Delhi becomes a full-fledged State, there would be a constitutional division of sovereign, legislative and executive powers between the Union and the State of Delhi. Parliament would have limited legislative access and that too only in special and emergency situations.
  • The Union would be unable to discharge its “special responsibilities in relation to the national capital as well as to the nation itself”.


States asked by SC to consult UPSC for selecting police chiefs

  • The Supreme Court on 3rd July restrained the State governments from appointing Directors-General of Police without first consulting the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • The State government concerned has to send to the service commission the names of the probables three months before the incumbent DGP is to retire.
  • The UPSC will prepare a list of three officers fit to be DGP and send it back.
  • It shall, as far as practicable, choose the people who have got a clear two years of service and must give due weightage to merit and seniority.


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  • The State, in turn, shall ‘immediately’ appoint one of the persons shortlisted by the commission.
  • A Bench, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, passed the directions on an application by the Centre for modification of a September 22, 2006 judgment on a petition filed by former DGPs Prakash Singh and N.K. Singh for reforms in the police forces.
  • In 2006, the court passed seven directives, primarily to “ensure that State governments do not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.”


National Testing Agency to be setup

  • The Union Cabinet had approved setting up of NTA to conduct entrance examinations such as NET, NEET, JEE (Mains) for higher educational institutions.
  • The NTA would also conduct National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) and Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT).


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  • So far, The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducted NEET on behalf of the Medical Council of India and the Health Ministry and NET on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • The NTA would work as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
  • It will be chaired by an educationist appointed by Human Resource Development Ministry. 

CJI is master of roster, says Supreme Court

  • The 'Chief Justice of India' (CJI) is an individual judge and not the powerful collective of five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court called the 'Collegium', the Supreme Court held on Friday.
  • Both Justices Sikri and Bhushan concurred that neither Article 145 (rules of court) and the Supreme Court Rules say the 'Chief Justice of India' as the Collegium.


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  • Unlike having the Collegium decide the appointment and transfer of judges, a collective deciding which cases should go to which Bench would affect the day-to-day functioning of the court.
  • Justice Sikri said the role of the CJI as the Master of Roster was qualified by the consensus from other judges. The CJI took into consideration the expertise, capacity and interest of his fellow judges while allocating cases to them. This duty should be left to his wisdom.


Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in New Delhi.
  • President said that adherence to a fair taxation system is much more than merely providing revenue to the government.
  • It is part of the same social contract that underpins our Constitution. Under this Constitution we have given ourselves certain rights but also certain responsibilities.


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  • Taxes are what we pay to get social benefits in the form of public goods and services, health and education facilities, better infrastructure, law and order, and secure borders.
  • It is crucial that this responsibility is shared by the widest possible number of citizens – whether they pay taxes directly or indirectly.
  • It is the solemn duty of each one of us to contribute to the society that we share and the nation that we are part of.


Election Commission of India to hold a National Consultation on Accessible Elections

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has organized a two-day “National Consultation on Accessible Elections,” from the 3rd July, 2018 in New Delhi.
  • It will be inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner O.P.Rawat, in presence of the Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa.
  • The event is a part of the ECI’s pursuit of its mission ‘leave no voter behind,’ with special focus on “Persons with Disabilities” (PwD).
  • During the inaugural session, a dedicated portal for the ECI’s ‘Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) initiative will also be launched.


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  • The national consultation will be participated among others by the Chief Electoral Officers of all states, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the area of empowerment of the differently abled and senior officials of the Union Ministries of Social Justice & Empowerment, Information & Broadcasting, Electronics and Information Technology, Youth Affairs and Sports, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Central Public Works Department and the National Literacy Mission Authority.
  • The whole exercise is to enhance their participation in the forthcoming state and Lok Sabha elections.
  • The theme of “Inclusion of PwD’s” has been given a special focus in the ECI’s Strategic Plan 2016-2025. Besides, “Accessible Elections” has been adopted as its central theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day celebrations.
  • The “National Consultation on Accessible Elections,” will be having three technical sessions over the course of the two days.
  • The best practices on ‘Accessible Elections’ that were practiced in six states during their last Assembly Elections will be shared in the meeting.

Ministry of Defence approves construction of 17 New Baffle Firing Ranges

  • Ministry of Defence has given a go ahead for construction of 17 new baffle firing ranges in Military Stations/Cantonments/Training Establishments at an approximate cost of Rs. 238 crores.
  • This will add seven ranges to the Southern Command, Three to the Eastern Command, Two to the Northern Command, one each to the South Western and Central Commands.
  • The one at Central Command is proposed for the Officers Training Academy, Gaya.

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  • These 17 will be in addition to the 60 similar firing ranges existing all over the country.
  • The proposed baffle shooting ranges can facilitate firing from 300 to 500 meters.

Ministry of Railways approves digital Aadhaar and Driving License from Digital Locker

  • Digital Aadhaar and Driving License from Digital Locker can be used as proof of identity of passengers during train journey..

  • The documents are accepted only if a passenger shows the Aadhaar/Driving License from the ‘Issued Documents’ section by logging into his/her Digi Locker account.

  • However, the documents uploaded by the user himself /herself will not be considered as a valid proof of identity.


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Election Commission of India launches Mobile App “cVIGIL”

  • A mobile App named "cVIGIL" is launched by Election commission to enable citizens to report on violation of election code of conduct
  • The Chief Election Commissioner Shri. O.P. Rawat launched a mobile app, called ‘Cvigil,’ on July 3, 2018, for citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct during elections.
    “cVIGIL" is a user-friendly and easy to operate Android application. It will be operational only where elections are announced.


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  • Upon successful completion of the trial, the application will be made available for general use by all, right from the forthcoming Assembly elections in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan.
  • The practical use of the app during the four-state Assembly polls will also serve as a pilot initiative before it is put to extensive use during the next Lok Sabha General Elections.
  • The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a camera, good internet connection and GPS access.
  • The operating system should be Android Jellybean and above. The application supports all the latest Android smartphones.


Interpol issues Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi: CBI

  • The Interpol has issued a Red Corner Notice against absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and his employee Subhash Parab on the request of the CBI, probing over USD 2 billion PNB scam, officials said.

  • Red Corner Notice (RCN) is issued on the basis of charge sheet filed by the CBI in a special court in Mumbai and the arrest warrant issued by the judge Special J C Jagdale there.
    In its Red Corner Notice issued against a fugitive, the Interpol asks its 192 member countries to arrest or detain the person if spotted in their countries after which extradition or deportation proceedings can begin.


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Indian Warship INS Trikand reaches SriLanka in goodwill visit

  • India's latest frontline warship INS Trikand has reached Sri Lanka in a goodwill visit.

  • INS Trikand is a state-of-the-art warship of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors capable.

  • It can address threats in all three dimensions - air, surface and sub-surface.


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Intellectual Property Rules Amended

  • The Union Ministry of Finance has amended Intellectual Property rules to revoke the power vested with Customs authorities to seize imported products based on complaints of patent infringement.
  • On June 22, the Ministry made two amendments to the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007.
  • Firstly, the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Amendment Rules, 2018, omits all reference to the Patents Act, 1970.


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  • Another amendment incorporates further conditions that oblige the right-holder to notify the Commissioner of Customs of any amendment, cancellation, suspension or reaction that concern Intellectual Property rights, and require the Customs authorities to accordingly amend, suspend or cancel the corresponding protection provided by them.
  • Now, the amended law will permit the Customs authorities to cancel his patent from its records based on the order passed by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).


Vice President visits infamous Cellular Jail in Port Blair

  • The Vice President of India as visited the infamous Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • Valiant freedom fighters were confined solitarily and meted out most inhuman treatment by the British in the cellular jail.
  • The purpose of solitary confinement was to demoralize freedom fighters, keep them in small, solitary cells without any scope to interact with fellow prisoners and local people.


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International Round Table Conference on “Data for New India”

  • The Ministry of Statistics &Programme Implementation (MoSPI) is organizing a two-day International Round Table Conference “Data for New India” at New Delhi during 9-10th July, 2018.
  • The objective of the Round Table Conference is to identify innovative ideas for improving the statistical system in India, taking cue from the best practices followed in advanced countries like Canada, UK and Australia.
  • Such a Conference is being organized in India for the first time; the conference is expected to suggest measures paving way for initiating the reform process in the Indian Statistical System.


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NFAI to host European Union Film Festival 2018

  • National Film Archive of India will host European Union Film Festival 2018 from 6th July to 12th July in Mumbai.
  • Opening with the French film named '9 Month Stretch', the seven days festival will feature 24 films (with English subtitle) all belonging to member countries of the European Union. These movies are selected from a variety of genres such as drama, romance and comedy.
  • The films being screened at the festival have won awards and appreciation at various international festivals.


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Uttarakhand High Court declares animals as ‘Legal Persons’

  • In a first, the Uttarakhand High Court accorded the status of ‘legal person or entity’ to the animals in the state.
  • The HC stated that "they have a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person."
  • The unique status was bestowed upon the state’s animals by a division bench of judges comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lokpal Singh while issuing a series of directions to prevent cruelty against animals.


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Law Commission Recommends Regulating Betting

  • The Law Commission recommended that gambling and betting on sports, including cricket, be allowed as regulated activities taxable under the direct and indirect tax regimes and used as a source for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • The commission's report, 'Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including Cricket in India', recommends a number of changes in the law for regulating betting and generating tax revenues from it.


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Election Commission (EC) launches Braille-enabled Voter IDs

  • The Election Commission (EC) on 4th July launched Voter Identity cards with Braille signage features to ensure greater participation of persons with visual impairment in the electoral process.
  • The Commission also unveiled a strategic framework on ‘Accessible Elections’.


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