29 , August 2017

Justice Dipak Misra sworn in as 45th Chief Justice of India

Justice Dipak Misra (64) sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India (CJI). He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He succeeds Chief Justice J S Khehar. He will have tenure of 14 months and will demit office in October 2018. He is third person from Odisha to be appointed the CJI, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.


Government inaugurates India’s first Videsh Bhavan in Mumbai

The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) launched country’s first Videsh Bhavan by assimilating all Regional Passport Offices and allied departments under a single roof at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.


1.Pan India Handloom and Handicraft Camps
Source: PIB

The Ministry of Textiles proposes to organize Pan India camps in handlooms and handicrafts clusters, under the initiative Hastkala Sahyog Shivir. This initiative is dedicated to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Garib Kalyan Varsh, the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay.

The following services will be provided to the weavers and artisans in these camps:

  • Issuance of credit facilities through MUDRA scheme
  • Assistance for technological upgradation under Hathkargha Samvardhan Sahayata
  • Distribution of modern tool kits and equipments
  • Issuance of Yarn Pass Book
  • Enrollment under IGNOU/NIOS courses
  • Access to Common Service Centre facilities
  • Buyer-seller meets and expos

2.NITI Aayog launches Ease of Doing Business Report: An Enterprise Survey of Indian States
Source: PIB

Major Findings of this report are:

Economic Performance and Reforms: A higher level of economic activity and better performance on a range of doing business indicators are strongly correlated.

  • Enterprises in high-growth states are significantly less likely to report major or very severe obstacles in (i) land/ construction re­lated approvals, (ii) environmental approvals and (iii) water and sanitation availability relative to enterprises in low-growth states.
  • Quite remarkably, firms located in high-growth states also report 25% less power shortages in a typical month, compared to firms in low-growth states.

 Improvements over time: Newer and younger firms re­port a more favorable business environment in that they take less time in obtaining approvals than older firms, suggesting an improvement in the business environment.

  • Newer firms include startups established after 2014.
  • In addition, young firms report that most regulatory processes do not constitute a major obstacle to their doing business.

Informational gaps: States need to enhance awareness of the steps being undertaken by them to the improve ease of doing business. The survey data show low awareness among enterprises about single window systems, instituted by states.

  • On aver­age, only about 20% of start-ups, which are of recent origin, report using single window facilities introduced by state governments for setting up a business.
  • Even among experts, only 41% have any knowledge of the existence of these facilities.

 Labor regulations are a bigger constraint for labor intensive firms: We find that labor intensive sectors, that create proportionately more jobs per unit of capital investment, feel more constrained by labor related regulations. For example, compared to other enterprises, the enterprises in labor intensive sectors:

  • 19% more likely to report that finding skilled work­ers is a major or very severe obstacle.
  • 33% more likely to report that hiring contract labor is a major or very severe obstacle.
  • Lose a greater number of days due to strikes and lockouts.
  • Report higher average time for environmental approvals and longer power shortages.

Barriers to firm growth: The experience of firms with fewer employees is different from that of larger firms. In some cases, large firms face more regulatory barriers than smaller firms.

  • Firms with more than 100 employees took significantly longer to get necessary approvals than smaller firms with less than 10 employees.
  • Large firms were also more likely to report that regulatory obstacles were a major impediment to doing business and that they incurred higher costs for getting approvals.


3.Centre set to roll out new treatment for encephalitis
Source: The Hindu

Acne drug seen to provide cure for Japanese encephalitis in limited trials

Weeks after several children died of encephalitis-related complications at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, Gorakhpur, the Centre is looking to introduce a new drug, traditionally used for acne, to deal with the seasonal outbreaks of acute encephalitis.

In 2008, researchers at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), Manesar found that minocycline — an antibiotic typically used to treat severe acne — surprisingly seemed to cure rats infected with the JE virus.

Independent teams of doctors and researchers between 2008 and 2013 have conducted trials on patients and have concluded, that minocycline worked well on patients with AES symptoms, who survived the first day of hospitalisation. According to the studies the drug did not measurably protect patients beyond three months.


4.Doklam standoff ends as India, China step back
Source: The Hindu

India and China have agreed to speedy disengagement on the Doklam plateau in Bhutan, ending a military standing lasting almost three months.

“Peace and tranquility in the border areas is an essential pre-requisite for further development of our bilateral relationship,” affirmed the MEA.

  • India and China has decided to de-escalate and withdraw their soldiers from the site at the trijunction with Bhutan
  • The move was announced by both foreign ministries almost simultaneously
  • Troop withdrawal has been “mutual” and “simultaneous” but “sequential

This disengagement comes a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to Xiamen in China for the BRICS summit from September 3 to 5.Therefore, it is important for the BRICS summit, for going smoothly

Is China withdrawing

  • According to the Chinese spokesperson, “in light of the changes of the situation on the ground, China will make necessary adjustments and deployment in accordance with the changes”
  • The nature of its change in deployment and the time-lines for these adjustments have not been clarified
  • But following the Indian withdrawal, there remains no reason for the Chinese troops to continue staying in Dolam plateau
  • According to many observers, the Chinese have agreed to not construct the road as a quid pro quo(a favour or advantage granted in return for something) for the withdrawal


5.Plea for early Aadhaar hearing
Source: The Hindu

The petitioners in the Aadhaar case is expected to make an urgent mentioning before a Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The urgency is due to the fact that September 30 is the deadline for the public to enrol themselves in the Aadhaar scheme for accessing welfare benefits.

The petitioners have challenged the validity of over 17 government schemes that required Aadhaar. They said the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for these schemes “constricts rights and freedoms which a citizen has long been enjoying unless and until they part with their personal biometric information to the government.”

The petition termed the Aadhaar Act of 2016 unconstitutional and contrary to the concept of limited and accountable government.

“Collection of biometric data, including fingerprints, and storing them in a central depository per se puts the state in an extremely dominant position in relation to the individual citizen,” the petition said.


6.Spice Digital gets RBI licence to operate under BBPS
Source: The Hindu

Spice Digital Limited (SDL) has received the final licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), allowing the company to process bill payments as a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) in the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).

About BBPS

  • The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an RBI conceptualised system driven by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • It is a one-stop payment platform for all bills, providing an interoperable and accessible “Anytime Anywhere” bill payment service to customers across the country with certainty, reliability and safety of transactions.
  • Payments through BBPS may be made using cash, transfer cheques and electronic modes.
  • Bill aggregators and banks will function as operating units, will carry out these transactions for the customers.


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