All India Radio News Summary: 20 DECEMBER 2017
- Lok Sabha has passed the Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Lok Sabha has passed the Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by voice vote.
- The Bill amends the Central Road Fund Act which regulates the Fund that is credited with the cess collected on high speed diesel oil and petrol.
- The bill seeks to decrease the allocation of cess towards the development and maintenance of national highways from 41.5 per cent to 39 per cent.
- Under it, now the share of 2.5 per cent of the cess amounting to 2339 core rupees per annum will be allocated towards development and maintenance of national waterways.
- Indian Railways to make all stations cent per cent LED lit by March next year
In an eco-friendly measure to cut power consumption, the Indian Railways said, it has planned to make all stations cent per cent LED lit by March next year. The Ministry of railways said, it is actively working to provide 100 per cent LED lighting for energy needs in railway staff colonies, stations and platforms.
- This is a huge initiative to provide energy efficient lighting which will eventually greatly help in the conservation of environment as well.
- This initiative will reduce consumption by about 10 per cent of the total energy being utilised for its non-traction uses, conserving about 240 million units of electricity and will save the Railways about 180 crore rupees annually.
- Till November this year, about 3,500 railway stations had already been provided with cent per cent LED lights. About 20 lakh such lights were installed. The national transporter also aims at providing these lights on all coaches and EMUs.
- WTO must incorporate emerging issues if it wants to remain relevant in the changing times
The Commerce and Industry Minister said, the World Trade Organization, WTO must incorporate emerging issues if it wants to remain relevant in the changing times.
- Comments came in the backdrop of the collapsed talks at last week’s 11th WTO ministerial conference in Buenos Aires.
- The WTO meeting had ended without any declaration or substantive outcome with the US going back on its commitment to find a permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue.
- China and Russia criticise United States for its new national security strategy.
China and Russia have criticised the United States for its new national security strategy that labels both countries as competitors challenging American interests.
- China said the new strategy outlined by US President demonstrated a Cold War mentality. Chinese Foreign Ministry said they urge the US side to stop deliberately distorting China’s strategic intentions and abandon such outdated concepts as the Cold War mentality and the zero-sum game otherwise it will only end up harming itself as well as others.
- Russia also was critical of Trump’s new strategy. Kremlin said new US security strategy shows an unwillingness to give up the idea of a unipolar world – moreover, an insistent unwillingness, disregard for a multipolar world.
- Significant increase in the number of Indian scientists returning to work in India
There has been a significant increase in the number of Indian scientists returning to work in India during the last five years.
Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences said, during the period between 2012 to 2017, around 650 scientists returned to the country as against 243 in 2007 to 2012.
- In Ryan International School student murder case, accused to be tried as adult, not juvenile.
In Haryana, the Juvenile Justice Board said, the 16-year-old student accused of murdering Pradhyuman Thakur, a Class 2 student, in Ryan School in Gurugram will be tried as an adult. The board passed the order responding to a plea that the teenager accused of the crime should not be treated as a juvenile. The board had earlier rejected the bail plea of the Class 11 student.
Pradhyuman was found with his throat slit inside a washroom at the school in September. CBI had arrested the accused last month on the charge of murdering the seven-year-old boy.
- The US Senate has approved the most sweeping overhaul of the American tax system in more than three decades
The legislation permanently cuts the tax rate for corporations from 35 per cent to 21 per cent and also lowers individual tax rates, albeit temporarily. Critics say, the bill will particularly benefit the wealthy.
Vice-President presided over the vote and announced the result. Fifty one members voted in favour of the bill and 48 against. The House of Representatives had earlier approved the bill comfortably.
Republicans have a majority in both houses of the Congress. Due to a procedural glitch, the House will have to vote again before the bill can be signed into a law by President Donald Trump.
- Indian Navy in collaboration with its Sri Lankan counterpart has successfully completed the second phase of the joint oceanographic survey
The Indian Navy in collaboration with its Sri Lankan counterpart has successfully completed the second phase of the joint oceanographic survey conducted off the South Western Coast of Sri Lanka. The Indian side handed over the survey charts to the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy.
- The aim of the joint survey is to update all the navigational charts covering the southern Sri Lankan waters with the latest hydrographic data.
- Indian navy has been working with its Sri Lankan counterpart to secure smooth navigation in Indian Ocean and the survey is part of the effort. The joint survey has updated all the navigational charts covering the southern Sri Lankan waters with the latest hydrographic data.
- The survey extended to a depth contour of 200 m from the coastline, ranging from capital city Colombo to southern city of Galle. The move will benefit the international shipping traffic passing the southern coast of Sri Lanka and will pave the way for blue economy.
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for a new skill development scheme
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for a new skill development scheme covering the entire value chain of the textile sector excluding spinning and weaving.
- The Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector, SCBTS will have an outlay of 1300 crore rupees upto 2019-20.
- The scheme will have National Skill Qualification Framework compliant training courses with funding norms as per the Common Norms notified by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
- The objectives of the scheme is to provide demand driven, placement oriented skilling programme to incentivize the efforts of the industry in creating jobs in organized textile and related sectors.
The Union Cabinet has also approved an extension of term of the Commission to examine the issue of sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes up to the 2nd of April next year.
- The extension of tenure will enable the Commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorization of OBCs, after consultation with various stakeholders.
- The Commission was constituted on 2nd October this year.
- The Commission, headed by retired Justice G. Rohini commenced functioning- on 11th of October and has so far interacted with all the States having reservation for OBCs, and the State Backward Classes Commissions.
- India’s First National Rail and Transportation University will be set up at Vadodara
India’s First National Rail and Transportation University will be set up at Vadodara in Gujarat to skill human resources and build capability.
- The decision to this effect was taken by the Union Cabinet this evening.
- The innovative idea inspired by Prime Minister will be a catalyst for transformation of rail and transport sector towards New India.
- The University will be a Deemed University under de novo category as per the UGC Regulations.
- The Government is working towards completing all approvals by April next year and to launch the first academic program in July next year.
- Lok Sabha passes ‘Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Amendment Bill; Also clears Indian Forest Amendment Bill.
The Lok Sabha has passed a bill amending regulations governing the compensation amount payable for acquisition of immovable property by the central government for defence and security purposes.
The ‘Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend a provision to allow the Centre to re-issue the notice of acquisition in order to ensure that the property’s owner gets an opportunity to be heard. The bill will have retrospective effect from 1952.
This has already been amended on eleven earlier occasions. This is the 12th amendment and this 12th amendment being brought for a very limited and specific purpose. Any sovereign state must have the power to requisition and then acquire land for the purposes of Defence and National Security.
The Lok Sabha has also passed the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 . The bill will replace the ordinance promulgated by the President on the 23rd of November this year. The Bill seeks to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas from the definition of a tree, thereby dispensing with the requirement of felling and transit permit for its economic use.
- Bamboo, though, taxonomically a grass, was defined as a tree under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and its felling and transit required permission.
- It was a major impediment for bamboo cultivation by farmers on non-forest land.
- Bamboo is a poor man’s timber and the measure will go a long way in enhancing agricultural income of farmers and tribal, especially in North-East and Central India.