03, November 2016


Source: PIB

India-Bangladesh joint military exercise

The joint exercise SAMPRITI 2016 will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together in a Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment under the UN Charter.

The exercise curriculum is progressively planned where the participants will initially get familiar with each other’s organizational structure and tactical drills.

 Subsequently, the training will advance to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies will be practiced.

The training will culminate with a final validation exercise in which troops of both armies will jointly practice a Counter Terrorist Operation in a controlled and simulated environment.


2.Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seizes about 23.5 metric tonnes of Mandrax Tablets (Methaqualone)

Source: PIB

In one of the biggest seizure of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances, the officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), apex counter-smuggling agency of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), have seized about 23.5 metric tonnes of Mandrax Tablets (Methaqualone), a banned psychotropic substance under Schedule I of NDPS Rules, 1985

Raw Material For Mandrax:

The major raw material for Mandrax is acetic anhydride which was manufactured by the syndicate at Shreenath Industries, Rajsamand.

The other raw materials for Methaqualone, apart from acetic anhydride are Anthranillic Acid(imported from Indonesia), ortho toloudiene, phosporous trichloride, caustic soda (procured locally).

Methaqualone is a depressant, overdose of which can lead to coma and death. It is used as a recreational drug in Africa and Asia. It is commonly known as Mandrax, M-pills, buttons, or smarties and is usually smoked mixed with cannabis.

NDPS 1985:

The system of control of Narcotic Drugs in India has been put in place considering the requirement of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical use and the country’s obligations towards the UN conventions.

 India is a signatory to The UN Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs 1961, The Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and The Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 which prescribe various forms of control aimed to achieve the dual objective of limiting the use of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes as well as preventing the abuse of the same.


3.Ministry of HUPA and Common Services Centre SPV sign MoU

Source: PIB

In a significant initiative, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has enabled online submission of applications by the urban poor for affordable houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed today by the Ministry of HUPA and Common Services Centre e-Governance Services India Limited of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban)- Housing for All by 2022

  1. Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource
  2. Promotion of affordable housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy;
  3. Affordable housing in partnership with Public & Private sectors and
  4. Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction or enhancement.

Under this scheme government plans to build two crore houses for the poor in urban areas by year 2022, which coincides with 75 years of Independence.

Intended beneficiary will be poor people (BPL) and people living under EWS and LIG categories in urban establishments of the country.

Under this scheme, the ownership of houses will be in the name of woman or jointly with husband.

4.Researchers aim to scoop out marine oil spills

Source: The Hindu

Researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Thiruvananthapuram have developed a compound named gelator to scoop out marine oil spills.

They had produced gelators using glucose as a starting material and through several other chemical reactions.

Unlike current methods, gelator can recover oil from oil-water mixture and the gelator can be reused several times.

Unlike other alternatives, the gelators, which are in a powder form, can be easily applied over oil-water mixture and do not cause any environmental damage. But in the case of crude oil, the gelator can’t be recycled.

Working process:

The gelator molecule is partly hydrophilic and partly hydrophobic.

  1. The hydrophilic part helps in self-assembling to form gelator fibres,
  2. The hydrophobic part is responsible for its diffusion into oil layer.

Since outer part of the fibre is hydrophobic, oil tends to gets into spongy network made of fibres. Once inside the fibre network, oil loses fluidity and becomes a gel. The gel was strong enough to be scooped with a spatula.


5.Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 comes into force

Source: PIB

The  Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 (BTP Amendment Act). The rules and all the provisions of the BTP Amendment Act shall come into force on 1st November, 2016.  Designed  to curb black money

The new law amended the Benami Transactions Act, 1988 and renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions (PBPT) Act, 1988. The amendment act also to strengthen the parent Act in terms of legal and administrative procedure.

Benami  transaction?

The benami (without a name) transaction refers to property purchased by a person in the name of some other person.  The person on whose name the property has been purchased is called the benamdar and the property so purchased is called the benami property. The person who finances the deal is the real owner.

Highlights of  Benami transaction act:

  • The PBPT Act defines benami transactions, prohibits them and further provides that violation of the PBPT Act is punishable with imprisonment and fine.
  • An appellate mechanism has been provided under the PBPT Act in the form of Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal.
  • The Adjudicating Authority referred to in section 6(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and the Appellate Tribunal referred to in section 25 of the PMLA have been notified as the Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal, respectively, for the purposes of the PBPT Act.
  • Appellate Tribunal will hear appeals against orders of Adjudicating Authority. High Court can hear appeals against orders of Appellate Tribunal.


6.Saur Sujala Yojana

Saur Sujala Yojana is a new scheme for Chhattisgarh farmers to provide solar powered irrigation pumps.

Saur  Sujala Yojana aims to provide solar powered irrigation pumps to farmers at a subsidized rate.

Benefits for farmer under Saur Sujala Yojana

The solar powered irrigation pump that will be provided to farmers to a low cost subsidized rates. The scheme is also aimed at strengthen the agriculture and rural development in rural areas of Chhattisgarh.

Under the Saur Sujala Yojana, government would distribute- The department of agriculture of the state government.

  • Solar powered irrigation pumps of 3HP and 5HP capacity
  • Pumps will be provided at the subsidized rates to farmers by 31 March 2019.
  • The farmers who have already been benefited under the borewell or pump scheme will be eligible for this scheme.

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