1. Google has partnered with UNEP for monitoring human activity on global ecosystem
- The UN has entered into a partnership with Google to monitor the impacts of human activity on global ecosystems by using sophisticated online tools.
- Aim to develop a platform to enable governments, NGO’s and the public to track specific environment-related development targets with a user-friendly Google front-end.
- Its initial focus will be on freshwater ecosystems including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.
- This will help in achieving the UN sustainable developmental goals(UN SDGs) and also use of most sophisticated online technologies available for global climate sustainability.
- UNEP is under the aegis of the UN.
- It was founded as a result of United Nations Conference on Human Environment in June 1972.
- Headquarter in Nairobi, Kenya.
- It is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
Source- Economic Times
2. WCD Ministry set to move Cabinet to make child marriage void
- In India, child marriage between a man under 21 years and a woman under 18 are merely voidable at the behest of the contracting parties.
- UNICEF’s 2014 report puts India at 6th spot, among the top-10 countries, regarding high rates of child marriage among women.
- The present law on child marriage PCMA- the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, does not invalidate child marriages.
- It only gives the child bride and the groom the option of annulling it if a case is filed in a district court by either of the two contracting parties within two years of becoming adult, or through a guardian in case, they are still minors.
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, (for Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains) and the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, do not still hold child marriages to be void.
The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
- PCMA came into force on 1st November 2007 by replacing the earlier legislation of Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929.
- The object of the Act is to prohibit solemnization of child marriage and connected incidental matters. This new Act is armed with enabling provisions to prohibit for child marriage, protect and provide relief to the victim and enhance punishment for those who abet, promote or solemnize such marriage.
Source- Indian Express
3. Supreme Court asks the Parliament to make lynching a separate offence
- The SC condemned lynching and recommended the Parliament to enact a separate law to punish offenders participating in the lynching.
- It noted that ‘There cannot be a right higher than the right to live with dignity (article 21) and further to be treated with humaneness that the law provides’.
- SC orders state to designate the officer of SP rank as the nodal officer in each district to prevent mob violence
- Other directions include asking Centre, states to broadcast radio, TV and online warning messages; Fast track court in each district and compensation schemes for lynching in states
Source- The Hindu
4. UP plans foreign language course in tourist destinations
- The Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to introduce an optional three-month foreign language course in 50 schools in seven districts.
- The pilot project will see the selected schools in Lucknow, Allahabad, Agra, Mathura, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Ghaziabad offer training in at least two of the four foreign languages — French, German, Spanish and Japanese — depending on the number of students applying for the same.
- This programme is funded under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan will be offered free of cost to class IX students.
5. Government seeks power to fix salary, the tenure of information commissioners
- The government proposes to change 3 sections of the RTI Act (relating to ranks, salaries, allowances and tenure) of the Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners of the Centre and states.
- The proposed amendments say that the tenure, rank and perks of Central and State Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners will be decided by the central government.
CIC (Central Information Commission)
- The Central Information Commission (CIC) set up under the RTI Act is the authorized body, established in 2005, under the Government of India.
- The Chief Information Commissioners are appointed by the President of India for a tenure of 5 years or 65 years of age (whichever is earlier).
- They act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests.
Source- Indian Express
6. Plants may soon create own fertilizer from thin air
- Researchers said that it will soon be possible for the Engineer plants that develop their own fertilizer by using atmospheric nitrogen to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis.
- The bacteria used in this research, Cyanothece is able to fix nitrogen because it has a circadian rhythm.
- Circadian rhythm means that they follow the human sleep cycle and fix nitrogen only at night, after converting sunlight to chemical energy during the day.
- The plants will be able to utilize the nitrogen present in the air will be most effective for subsistence farmers and the annual expenditure on chemical fertilizers will be reduced substantially
Source – The Hindu
7. Army to resume M777 trials
- The Army will resume the trials of the U.S.-made M777 Ultra-Light Howitzer (ULH) in Pokhran firing range.
- In November 2016, India signed a deal with the U.S. government under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme for 145 M777 guns at a cost of $737 million.
- The M777 is also used by the ground forces of Australia, Canada, India and Saudi Arabia.
Source- The Hindu
8. Odisha to get country’s 1st skill training centre
- Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated India’s 1st skill training centre at Barang near Bhubaneswar.
- The centre is planning to set up one National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) in every State to meet the rising demand for skilled manpower in the country.
- It will empower the youth of the State and make them job ready for industries.
- This will also help in addressing the issue of migration.
Source- New Indian Express