1. Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018
- The bill, replacing the ordinance seeks to deter economic offenders from escaping the country and lays down provisions for escaped offenders to return to India and submit themselves to the process of law.
- The bill empowers authorities to attach and confiscate the properties and assets of economic offenders.
- It seeks to target fugitives for offences exceeding ₹100 crore.
- The bill will extend not only to loan defaulters and fraudsters but also to individuals who violate laws governing taxes, black money, benami properties and financial corruption.
- All individuals attempting to evade the Indian legal process from the date of the enactment of the law will be covered.
- The confiscation of property will not be limited to those acquired through the proceeds or profits of the crime.
- The bill also provides for confiscation of benami properties.
- Those classified as fugitives will also not be able to pursue civil cases in India unless they come back to India and face prosecution.
Fugitive Economic Offender
- A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
- A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the Schedule of the bill.
Source- Indian Express
2. Scheme to compensate victims of sexual assaults should include children: SC.
- The Supreme Court said that a scheme proposed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) for compensating victims of sexual assault and acid attack should be modified to “some extent” to make it applicable to child victims of such assaults.
- The bench suggested that the Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes, 2018, proposed by the National Legal Services Authority, include child victims.
Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes, 2018
- The National Legal Services Authority’s scheme proposes a uniform payment of ₹5 lakh to the maximum of ₹10 lakh to gang-rape survivors in any part of the country.
- In the case of rape and unnatural sexual assault, the victim will get a minimum of ₹4 lakh and the maximum of ₹7 lakh.
- For an acid attack victim minimum of ₹7 lakh in case of disfigurement of a face. The upper limit will be ₹8 lakh.
- In acid attack cases, if the injury is more than 50%, a minimum compensation of ₹5 lakh will be given and the maximum will be ₹8 lakh.
National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA)
- NALSA was formed on 5th December 1995 under the authority of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
- Its purpose is to provide free legal services to eligible candidates and to organize Lok Adalats for speedy resolution of cases.
- The Chief Justice of India is patron-in-chief of NALSA while 2nd most judge of Supreme Court of India is the Executive-Chairman.
- The prime objective of NALSA is speedy disposal of cases and reducing the burden of the judiciary.
Source- The Hindu
3. The 19th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas being celebrated.
- It marks India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1999 Kargil War and remembers those who sacrificed their lives for the country.
- The three-day celebrations began at the Drass War Memorial in Kargil town in Jammu and Kashmir.
- On 26th July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. The war was fought for more than 60 days.
- In India, the conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.
4. Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India.
- The scheme is being implemented through Sangeet Natak Akademi, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture.
- With the objective of reinvigorating and revitalizing various institutions, groups, individuals etc. so that they may engage in activities/ projects for strengthening, protecting, preserving and promoting the rich intangible cultural heritage of India.
- It covers all recognized domains such as oral traditions and expressions, including language, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship etc.
Sangeet Natak Akademi
- Sangeet Natak Akademi is the national level academy for performing arts set up by the Government of India.
- Founded on 31st May 1952
- Headquarters in New Delhi
- The academy functions as the apex body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama.
5. Girinka Programme
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented 200 cows to poor villagers in Rwanda to support President Paul Kagame’s ambitious initiative for poverty reduction and tackling childhood malnutrition.
- The Girinka programme was initiated by president Kagame in 2006 to provide one cow per poor family for their nutritional and financial security.
- The word Girinka can be translated as ‘may you have a cow’ and describes a centuries-old cultural practice in Rwanda whereby a cow was given by one person to another as a sign of respect and gratitude.
- It was in response to the alarmingly high rate of childhood malnutrition and as a way to accelerate poverty reduction and integrate livestock and crop farming.
6. 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.
The theme of this year’s summit is, ‘BRICS in Africa – collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the 4th industrial revolution’.
- BRICS is the acronym coined by British Economist Jim O’Neill meant for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”), before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
- The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20.
- The first summit was in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009.
- China hosted the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen.
- Brazil will host the 11th BRICS summit in 2019.
7. World’s fastest man-made spinning object developed.
- Scientists have developed the fastest man-made rotor in the world, which they believe will help them study quantum mechanics.
- At more than 60 billion revolutions per minute, this machine is more than 100,000 times faster than a high-speed dental drill.
- The team synthesized a tiny dumbbell from silica and levitated it in the high vacuum using a laser.
- The laser can work in a straight line or in a circle – when it is linear, the dumbbell vibrates, and when it is circular, the dumbbell spins.
- A spinning dumbbell functions as a rotor, and a vibrating dumbbell functions like an instrument for measuring tiny forces and torques, known as a torsion balance.
- As they become more advanced, they will be able to study things like quantum mechanics and the properties of the vacuum.
- Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics which describes nature at the smallest scales of energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles.
Source- The Hindu
8. Government amends the definition of hydrocarbon to include shale.
- The government has amended the Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules 1959 to include shale in the definition of petroleum, a change that would allow private companies to explore and produce the resource in the blocks they already operate.
- It would help in enhancing domestic exploration and production of hydrocarbons and increasing India’s energy security and reducing dependency on imports.
- It would open up exploration of all hydrocarbons in existing fields which is line with the new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP)
Amended definition of Petroleum
- Petroleum means naturally occurring hydrocarbons, whether in the form of natural gas or in a liquid, viscous or solid form, or a mixture thereof, but does not include coal, lignite, and helium occurring in association with petroleum or coal or shale.
- Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments (silt-sized particles) of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite.
- Shale gas is natural gas that is found trapped within shale formations. It is colourless, odourless gas, lighter than air.
- It is cheaper than natural gas, releases lesser carbon dioxide.
- It is an unconventional source of methane.
Source- Economic Times
9. Lake found on Mars by scientists.
- Using a radar instrument on an orbiting spacecraft, scientists have spotted a sizeable salt-laden lake under the ice on the southern polar plain of Mars, a body of water they called a possible habitat for microbial life.
- The reservoir they detected — roughly 20 km in diameter, shaped like a rounded triangle and located about 1.5 km beneath the ice surface — represents the first stable body of liquid water ever found on Mars.
- The location’s radar profile resembled that of subglacial lakes found beneath Earth’s Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.
- The detection was made using data collected between May 2012 and December 2015 by an instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft that transmits radar pulses, which penetrate the Martian surface and ice caps.
- Because it is located beneath the polar ice cap, the temperature in the lake is expected to be below the freezing point of pure water.
MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding)
- MARSIS is a low frequency, pulse-limited radar sounder and altimeter used on the European Space Agency, Mars Express mission.
- It features ground-penetrating radar capabilities, which uses synthetic aperture techniques and a second receiving antenna to isolate subsurface reflections
- MARSIS was funded and developed by ASI (Italy) and NASA (USA).
Source- The Hindu