Saturday, April 23, 2016

Subramanian Swamy, Navjot Sidhu, Mary Kom among 6 nominated to RS

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Apr 23
BJP leaders Subramanian Swamy and Navjot Singh Sidhu and journalist Swapan Dasgupta have been nominated to Rajya Sabha.
In a release, Home Ministry said, President Pranab Mukherjee has also nominated economist Narendra Jadhav, Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi and Boxer Mary Kom to the Upper House.
AIR correspondent reports, there are 12 nominated members in Rajya Sabha and at present seven seats are vacant.
Persons having special knowledge in literature, science, art and social service and sports are nominated in this category.
Although independent, the nominated members always vote along with the government and the filling of vacancies will bolster the NDA’s numbers in the Upper House where it lacks majority.
Lyricist Javed Akhtar, Theatre artist B Jayashree, Journalist H K Dua, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, Economist Bhalchandra Mungekar, Professor Mrinal Miri, Dr Ashok Ganguly had completed their terms as nominated members.

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India signs Paris climate agreement along with over 170 nations at UN

During the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), world leaders hammered out an agreement aimed at stabilizing the climate and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Event highlights from Ceres’ network of business and investor leaders:
Paris Agreement   is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. An agreement on the language of the treaty was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. It was signed on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) by 175 UNFCCC members, 15 of which immediately ratified it.How this agreement is to entered into force is voluntary or binding?
India has signed the historic Paris climate agreement at United Nations in New York along with more than 170 nations, marking a significant step to combat global warming.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar signed the agreement in the UN General Assembly hall at a high-level ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last night.
The ceremony was attended by heads of governments, foreign ministers, corporate leaders and artists from across the world.
In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In his message on the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Paris accord, in conjunction with the Agenda for Sustainable Development, holds the power to transform the world.
While noting that the countries are signing a new covenant with the future, Ban cautioned that the world is in a race against time.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Javadekar reiterated that India will reduce emission intensity by 35 per cent and build 40 per cent capacity for Power Generation from Non Fossil fuels.
He said, India has undertaken a huge renewable energy program of 175 GW and he is happy to announce that India have already achieved 40 GW. Mr Javadekar said that India has put a six dollar cess per tonne on coal and it is a solid action taken against carbon emission.
He said, the developed world has caused the climate change of today because of their 100 years of relentless carbon emissions.
The Minister expressed hope that collective wisdom will ultimately prevail and both developed and developing nations will do their part to address the issue of climate change.
Mr Javadekar said, the issue of climate fund continues to remain a concern and urged the developed countries to mobilize 100 billion dollar sooner and they must also take enhanced targets for 2016-2020, which is the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
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Landslides, flash floods in Arunachal Pradesh;


Apr 23
In Arunachal Pradesh more landslides, flash flood and road blockade at multiple places are being reported from Tawang.
Landslides have claimed two more lives taking the death toll to 18 in landslide in Tawang .Many people have abandoned their houses and are moving to safer places.
Flash floods have damaged agricultural fields and washed away roads at many places.
Tawang is reeling under darkness since three days as incessant rain has caused damage in the Kipti Micro Hydel Station and forced the power department to shut down the station.
Tawang is also facing disruption in water supply.
Chief Minister Kalikho Pul has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. four lakhs to next of the kin of the deceased and 2 lakhs rupees to the injured in the Tawang Landslide.
On Thursday night 16 people were killed and 2 injured in a landslide in Tawang.
Apart from Tawang, districts like Anjaw, Changlang, East Siang and Lower Subansiri are also badly affected by landslides and flood.
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Current drought condition to remain for maximum 45 days: Met Dept.


Apr 23
The India Meteorological Department, IMD, has predicted that the drought condition prevailing in the country now will remain maximum for 30 to 45 days.
Participating in the current affairs programme of All India Radio, IMD director B P Yadav said farmers faced two deficient rainfall years consecutively and the immediate solution is good monsoon.
He, said IMD has predicted good forecast and the South-West monsoon rainfall will be above normal in this year.
Earlier, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the central government is making all efforts to deal with drought situation . He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed to provide all assistance to the affected States.
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Russian tanker catches fire in Caspian Sea

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Russian tanker has caught fire in the Caspian Sea near the territorial waters of Turkmenistan. The crew has been evacuated while the Russian Emergency Ministry prepares amphibious firefighting aircraft to extinguish the fire on the vessel.
A source told RIA Novosti that the ignition source is believed to be on the deck of the vessel.
The Palflot-2 vessel in distress is currently drifting in Turkmenistan’s territorial waters some 800 kilometers from Russia’s nearest port, Astrakhan. Ten crew members have been evacuated from the ship by another Russian vessel, emergency agency sources told Russian media.
The Southern Regional Center of Russia’s Emergency Ministry has confirmed the fire on Palflot-2 tanker claimed the life of a ship’s mechanic, reportedly a citizen of Kazakhstan.
“We confirm the death of a single person. It was a mechanic. There were 11 crewmembers onboard, and 10 of them have been evacuated by a vessel belonging to the same company. They will be delivered to Astrakhan,” a source in the Emergency Ministry said.
Crew members of the Palflot-2 are citizens of Russia and Kazakhstan.
According to the Emergency Ministry, the tanker was not transporting any oil products and its tanks are filled with seawater as ballast.
The Emergency Ministry and the company owning the burning tanker agreed that extinguishing the fire on a vessel drifting so far from Russian shores is unpractical. It has been decided the ship should burn out, and its fate will be decided later.
Palflot-2’s port of commission is city of Taganrog, a port in the Azov Sea connected with the Caspian Sea via a system of waterways.
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5.8-magnitude quake rattles northwest Ecuador

A new 5.8-magnitude earthquake has rocked Ecuador with its epicenter located 26 km (16 miles) west of the coastal town of Muisne in northwestern Ecuador, the US Geological Survey reported on its website. The quake hit off the Ecuadorian coast at 01:24 GMT Saturday. No further details on any casualties or damages have been reported. The newest quake follows a string of aftershocks of 6.2 and 6.0 magnitude that struck the country Thursday. The latest tremblor comes a week after a powerful 7.8 quake hit the country, leaving over 600 people dead, and thousands injured and displaced. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue services are still searching the affected areas. Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, estimated damage to the country at $3 billion.
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Parliament session to complete financial bill

Parliament session from April 25 to complete financial business
Demands for Grants and working of 11 ministries to be discussed ; six in Lok Sabha and 5 in Rajya Sabha
Finance Bill, Railways Appropriation Bill, Uttarakhand Ordinances, GST Bill, Factories Bill,
Afforestation Fund Bill, Enemy Property Bill on the agenda

Parliament session will begin from Monday i.e April 25,2016 to address the financial business related to the General and Railway Budgets for the financial year 2016-17 and is scheduled to last till May 13,2016 subject to the exigencies of the Government’s Business.  The ensuing session of the Lower House  will be the 8th Session of the 16th  and that of the Upper House the 239th Session of Rajya Sabha since the previous sessions of the Parliament were prorogued in March this year, after both the Houses were adjourned on March 16 for meetings of Department Related Standing Committtees.
Financial business including discussion on demands for grants of various ministries in Lok Sabha and working of some ministries in Rajya Sabha,  consideration and passing of the Railways Appropriation Bill,2016 and Finance Bill,2016 constitutes the main agenda of this session of Parliament.
Lok Sabha will take up discussion on Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Railways and the related Appropriation Bill for 2016-17 on April 26. This will be followed by discussion on Demands for Grants of the Ministries of Development of North-Eastern Region, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Social Justice and Empowerment and Civil Aviation.
Rajya Sabha will discuss working of the Ministries of Health & Family Welfare, Human Resource Development, Finance, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and External Affairs. Thereafter, Finance Bill,2016 and application of Guillotine will be taken up.
Other Legislative agenda likely  to be taken up in Lok Sabha include:
1.Consideration and Passing of the Sikh Gurudwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as passed by Rajya Sabha (listed for April 25);
2.Consideration and Passing of the Regional Centre for Bio-technology Bill,2016 (listed for April 25);
3.The Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Standing Committee submitted its Report);
4.The Electricity Amendment Bill, 2014 (Standing Committee submitted its Report);
5.The Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas and other related laws (Amendment) Bill,2014 (Standing Committee submitted its report);
6.The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2015 (Standing Committee submitted its Report);
7.The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Amendment) Bill,2015 (Standing Committee submitted its Report);
8.The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 (Standing Committee submitted its Report);
9.The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,2015 (Report of Joint Committee awaited);
10.The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 (Report of Standing Committee awaited);
11.The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 (Report of the Standing Committee awaited);
12.The Companies (Amendment) Bill,2016 (Report of the Standing Committee awaited); and
  1. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Second Bill, 2015 (Report of Joint Committee awaited).

Legislative business likely to be taken up in  Rajya Sabha include;
1.The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill,2016 as passed by Lok Sabha;
2.The Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Bill,2016 as passed by Lok Sabha;
3.The Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill,2016 as passed by Lok Sabha;
4.The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill,2016 as passed by Lok Sabha;
(The above four Bills listed for April 25)
5.The Constitution (One twenty second) Amendment Bill relating to introduction of GSG as passed by Lok Sabha and reported by the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha;
6.The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill,2016 as passed by Lok Sabha and referred to Select Committee of the House;
7.The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill,2015 as passed by Lok Sabha;
8.The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill,2015 as passed by Lok Sabha;
9.The Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill,2015 as passed by Lok Sabha;
10.The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 1987 as reported by Joint Committee; and
  1. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 as passed by Lok Sabha and referred to Joint Committee.

During the 15 sittings of the session starting on April 25,2016, besides ratification of Presidential Proclamation in Uttarkhand under Article 356 of the Constitution, two Ordinances viz., The Uttarakhand Appropriation (Vote on Account) Ordinance,2016 and The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Second Ordinance, 2016 are also on the agenda.
During the last session of Parliament between February 23 and March 16,2016, both the Houses had 16 sittings during when 11 Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha and one in Rajya Sabha. The Lower House passed 9 Bills while the Upper House cleared 11 Bills. Ten Bills were passed by both the Houses including  the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Bill,2016 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill,2016.
Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha took up short duration discussion on the incidents in Jawaharlal Nehru University and  Hyderabad Central  University during the last session. Lok Sabha held similar discussion on money laundering including Aircel and Maxis and the terrorist attack in Pathankot while Rajya Sabha discussed agrarian crisis prevailing at that time.
Lok Sabha discussed Calling Attention Motion on affidavit relating to Ishrat Jehan case while in Rajay Sabha , inflammatory speech by a union minister was discussed under the same provision.

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