1. Constitution (123rd amendment) Bill passed in Lok Sabha
- The Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill with over two-third majority.
- The Bill was passed superseding the amendments by the Rajya Sabha which seeks to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
Features of the Bill
- The bill provides for the grant of constitutional status to NCBC on par with National Commission for SCs and National Commission for STs.
- It states that the President may specify the socially and educationally backward classes in the various states and union territories. He may do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned states.
- The duties of the NCBC include investigating and monitoring how safeguards provided to the backward classes under the Constitution and other laws are being implemented and probe specific complaints regarding violation of rights.
- NCBC will have the powers of a civil court while probing the complaint.
- The Bill will insert Article 338B into the Constitution after Articles 338 and 338A which deal with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (SC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (ST) respectively.
Source: Times of India
2. India successfully test-fires Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile off Odisha coast
- India on successfully test-fired the endo-atmospheric Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, which is a part of the country’s ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield against a multiple target scenario.
- It was the first time that the AAD was tested against multiple targets, and it constitutes a major milestone in India’s quest to develop a home-grown ballistic missile defence system.
- The missile is 24.6 feet long and is equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system. It is a single-stage, solid fuel, rocket-propelled guided missile that can track its target independently.
- It is capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 km and against multiple simulated targets of 1500 km class ballistic missile.
Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile
- The AAD missile is part of India’s planned two-layered ballistic missile defence (BMD) system.
- Both PAD(Prithvi Air Defence (PAD)) and PDV(Prithvi Defence Vehicle) are designed for the mid-course interception in other words intercepting the incoming ballistic missile in space after the rocket burns out.
- AAD constitutes the second-tier defence against ballistic missile threats.
3.WHO thumbs up for Swachh Bharat’s rural component
- It is estimated that the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G) will result in preventing more than three lakh deaths due to diarrhoea and protein-energy malnutrition between 2014-October 2019, notes a World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
- The report notes that under the SBM-G, 19 States and Union Territories were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) and 7.9 crore toilets were built, while 421 districts were declared ODF. Also, more than 4.9 lakh villages in the country were declared ODF.
- The WHO study showed that before the initiation of SBM-G, unsafe sanitation caused 199 million cases of diarrhoea annually and that by 2019, the initiative aims to achieve 100% sanitation coverage.
Swachh Bharat Mission
- The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.
- Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
- The mission contains two sub-missions: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“Gramin” or rural), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
4. Lok Sabha passes National Sports University Bill
- The Lok Sabha on passed a Bill establishing a National Sports University in Manipur as part of a vision to enhance country’s standing in sports.
- The National Sports University Bill, 2018, which sought to replace an Ordinance promulgated on May 31, was passed by a voice vote.
- The Bill seeks to set up a specialised university in Manipur, which would be the first of its kind, to promote sports education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching.
- The proposed university would also function as the national training centre for select sports disciplines by adopting best international practices.
- A sportsperson will be the university vice-chancellor, while its academic council will also comprise sports personalities.
- The legislation proposes to empower the university to establish ‘Outlying Campuses’ throughout the country and also outside India.
5. Ayushman Bharat Yojana under PMRSS Mission to be implemented in MP
- In Madhya Pradesh, the Ayushman Bharat Yojana under the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission will be implemented in the state from August 15 this year.
- A MoU has been signed with the National Health Agency for the implementation of the scheme.
- The benefit of the scheme will be given in cashless form through government and private hospitals.
- National Health Protection Mission will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SEC (Socio Economic Census) database.
- The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities.
- To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on the package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis.
- One of the core principles of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission is to co-operative federalism and flexibility to states.
- For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, it is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.
- States would need to have the State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme.
6. Vidyalakshmi Portal for Education Loan
- Vidya Lakshmi Portal was launched by the Government on August 15, 2015, to ensure that students can avail loans easily through single window system of banks for education loans.
- Banks follow Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) guidelines in this regard which stipulates that education loan applications have to be disposed of, in the normal course, within a period of 15 to 30 days.
- Students can view, apply and track the education loan applications to banks anytime, anywhere by accessing the portal.
- The portal also provides linkages to National Scholarship Portal.
7. ‘Paryatan Parv’
- The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in collaboration with other Central Ministries, State Governments and Stakeholders is organizing a “Paryatan Parv” across the country from the 16th to 27th September 2018.
- The Parv is being organized with the objective of drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.
- Paryatan Parv will have three main components as like last year, viz. Dekho Apna Desh, Tourism for All andTourism & Governance.
8. India elected president of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development
- India has been elected as the President of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for a period of two years.
- India got elected against Iran during voting which took place at the 44th annual gathering of AIBD.
Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development
- AIBD, established in 1977 under the auspices of UNESCO, is a unique regional inter-governmental organisation and is mandated to achieve a vibrant and cohesive electronic media environment in the Asia-Pacific region through policy and resource development
- Full membership of the AIBD is confined to sovereign states and they are invited to designate the broadcasting authority of the country to be the beneficiary.
- The Institute enjoys a membership of 26 countries, 94 affiliates and 58 partners in Asia, Pacific, Europe and North America