Current Affairs : February 3, 2010
Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High court: Kurian Joseph
Execrcising the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil appoints Shri Justice Kurian Joseph, Judge of the Kerala High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office. (PIB)
Events & Happenings:
Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan–2010
1200 participants from across the country, gather at Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi.
Buddhist Conclave – Nalanda
Buddhist scholars, academicians, monks, travel and tour operators and media persons from across the world attend a two-day international Buddhist conclave at Nalanda in Bihar. The theme is ‘International Buddhist Conclave – Experience Buddhism’. Union ministry of tourism, Bihar tourism department and Nava Nalanda Mahavihara are organizing this conclave in which delegates from more than 12 countries are coming. Objective of the international conclave is to give a major thrust to cultural tourism and explore the potential related to the Buddhist circuit in India and especially in Bihar.
On PIL on violation of labor laws at Commonwealth Games sites
A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by Peoples Union for Democratic Rights. The Delhi high court passes an order to form a 4 member committee to probe the alleged violations of labour laws at Commonwealth Games project sites.
Madhya Pradesh : Soil Health Certificates
The MP Government decides to give soil health certificates in the next two years to all farmers in the state. Soil health is an assessment of ability of a soil to meet its range of ecosystem functions as appropriate to its environment. The The soil health certificates will help the farmers to determine the cycle of profitable crops.
Srikrishna Committee (for Consultation with all sections of Andhra Pradesh on Telangana issue)
Union Government creates five-member panel headed by retired Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna to deliberate on a mechanism for a separate Telangana state and consult all sections of people, political parties and groups in Andhra Pradesh. The commitee is as follows:
- Shri Justice B N Srikrishna, retired Judge, Supreme Court of India – Chairman
- Prof. (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi – Member
- Dr. Abusaleh Shariff, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi – Member
- Dr. (Ms.) Ravinder Kaur, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT, Delhi – Member
- Shri Vinod K Duggal, IAS (Retd.), former Home Secretary – Member Secretary
CJ on recommendation of Law Commission for reorganization of Supreme Court
Chief Justice of India (CJI), KG Balakrishnan comes out against the recommendation of the Law Commission that the Supreme Court (SC) be reorganized into a Constitution bench in Delhi and four regional benches.
This recommendation has been predominant topic among the legal circles of the country. CJ favors that he is not in favor of “disintegration” of the SC which “is the highest court of the land and should be in the Capital city of the country”.
He points out that there is a powerful symbolism to the country’s apex court which vests it with a unique sense of authority and goes beyond its official status as the ultimate arbiter of justice and protector of the Constitution. Such an institution cannot be anywhere other than the Capital, and just as there is only one Parliament, there can be only one SC.
However, the logic of Law Commission recommendation was taking forward the legal reforms as Justice delayed is justice denied. Even CJ admits that there is a piling backlog in Supreme Court. The Law Commission mentions aspects like raising the sitting period of judges, reducing the length of court vacations and coming down heavily on lawyers seeking too many adjournments and judges granting them.
On February 2, 2010, The Law Ministry ruled out any move to set up a bench of the Supreme Court outside Delhi. However Ministry says that it has ‘open mind’ on forming Courts of Appeal (COA) on the lines of the courts in the United States and the United Kingdom. This could be a mean to meet the growing demands of regions.
Business & Economy:
On NTPC’s Follow on Public Offer :
The follow on public offer of NTPC starts. The floor price of Rs 201 a share for NTPC’s follow-on public offering (FPO) was set by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) which was attractive for retail investors along with low risk profile. The EGoM also offered a deal to NTPC employees, with a discount of Rs 10 per share. Employees were offered equity shares at Rs 191 a share. Up to 50 per cent of the net offer will be allocated to qualified institutional buyers.
Through this FPO , govt will mop up a minimum of Rs. 8000 crore from the divestment of 41.22 crore shares, which is about 5 per cent of the paid-up capital of the company. The FPO was subscribed 61% within two hours of its opening.
BSNL – Novatium Partnership in Uttar Pradesh
BSNL and Chennai-based IT solutions company Novatium partner to provide cheaper broadband connections in Uttar Pradesh. For this purpose Novatium launches three new products Nova Navigator+, Nova Neon and Nova cNergy to provide seamless net connectivity to the BSNL broadband consumers. UP is the first state where these products have been launched. Nova Navigator+ transforms a normal TV into a computing device, while Nova Neon is a netBook enabled with Wi-fi, multiple USB ports and 160 GB hard disk. Nova cNergy is a USB stick to enhance the existing PC/laptop with Nova environment.
On Mobile Number Portability:
March 31, 2010 is the deadline for the mobiles companies all over the country to implement the mobile number portability. The BSNL and MTNL say that they will be Ready by this date for implementation. The earlier date to implement MNP was December 31, 2009 for all metros and March 31, 2010 for rest of the country. However some operators expressed inability and demanded more time from the government, so the new deadline of March 31, 2010 was fixed by the government for the entire country. TRAI has fixed Rs 19 as the charge to be paid by a subscriber to avail the MNP service and the whole process will take a maximum of four days.
First Consultative Committee meeting of the Ministry of Shipping
First Consultative Committee meeting (of the 15th Lok Sabha )of the Ministry of Shipping takes place. Some notes:
Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection
Precautionary measures for pollution control and arrest of associated problems are essential along with Industrial development Read Here
India & World:
On India Hungary Trade:
Second Session of the India-Hungary Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) and Joint Business Commission (JBC) meetings was held at Hungary’s capital Budapest (Why the name is Budapest? ) during February 1-2 2010. Mr. Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry was there in Budapest. Shri Sharma highlighted new sectors for cooperation like energy, medical equipment, agro-processing, dairy plants, water management, waste management and waste water purification. Both sides agreed to increase the level of trade to US $ 1 billion by 2012.
An agreement for oil exploration has already been signed between MOL (Magyar Olaj- és Gázipari Nyrt., ) the Hungarian Oil Company, and ONGC of India in which MOL is a 35% partner. It was agreed that the two countries will strengthen cooperation in the IT sector and an MoU detailing the areas of cooperation will be entered into between the Hungarian association of IT companies and Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) India. The India-Hungary S&T; fund of Euro 2 million per annum for the promotion of joint research projects will soon be operationalised and bilateral S&T; projects would be selected for funding.
A Social Security Agreement was signed between the two countries on the sidelines of the JCEC, which would address the issues on social security tax particularly in the case of IT sector. An agreement on Trade and Investment cooperation was also signed between Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and ITD Hungary. The chambers of the two countries also signed an agreement on arbitration.
“Change for Good” programme of Finair
Finnair which is Finland’s largest airline has been cooperating with UNICEF since 1994 to improve conditions for the world’s children Read Here
India and Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are those organic compounds which are resistant to environmental degradation through Read Here
Maldives Delegation Visiting India
Home Minister of Maldives Mohamed Shihab Shihab leads a delegation to India to visit the facilities related to forensic sciences. cyber crime etc. The visit Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters, Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), DNA lab, computer forensics and voice spectrograph division, ballistics division and lie-detection division in the CFSL.
Maldives wants India to help in establishing a police academy along with forensic science laboratory, corporate fraud cell and also training for its investing officers for which India assures for all possible assistance.
On Global Initiative on River Cleaning
March 22, is the World Day for Water, recognized by the UN. A special initiative has been launched by Rivers of the World Foundation & Yamuna Foundation for Blue Water which includes picking up trash and clean up river beds in India, China and US by March 22. The rivers are Yamuna, Potomac & Yangtze. The job is being taken up by volunteers in US and China & School children in Agra.
Iran : successful launch of Kavoshgar 3
Iran successfully test Kavoshgar 3 on February 3, 2010 on 31st anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Besides It unveils: domestically produced carrier engine Simorq, three new communications satellites, named the Tolou, Mesbah 2 and Navid. Please note that Iran launched its first satellite into orbit in February 2009. The name of the satellite was Omid and it was propelled by Safir 2 rocket.
Chess: Chennai Open: Maxim Turov
Maxim Turov of Russia has won the International Grand master Chess Tournament at Chennai. The second place was of Ziaur Rahman of Bangaladesh