Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed in Parliament
Parliament passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 after the Rajya Sabha approved it unanimously on July 22, 2019. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha earlier on July 19 through a voice vote.
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 aims to accelerate the process of ap
pointment of chairperson and members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The bill proposes to amend the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, which was enacted for the constitution of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Human Rights Courts for protection of human rights.
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 amends the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 to include the provision that besides CJI, even a Judge of the Supreme Court can be the chairperson of the NHRC. As per the Human Rights Act, only a person who has been the Chief Justice of India can be made the NHRC chairperson.
at the state level, the bill proposes an amendment to enable any person who has been a judge of a High Court to be the chairperson of SHRC.
The Human Rights Act 1993 provides that two persons having knowledge of human rights can be appointed as members of the NHRC. The bill also proposes an amendment to extend the appointment to three members, of which at least one should be a woman.
NHRC/ SHRC Term
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 proposes a reduction of the term of office of chairpersons and members of NHRC and SHRC to three years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.The Human Rights Act 1993 states that the chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC will hold office for five years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.
The Bill also allows reappointment of chairpersons of the NHRC and SHRCs.
Singapore’s GIIS to launch India’s first smart school campus in Pune
- The Singapore-headquartered Global Indian International School (GIIS) Wednesday said it will launch India’s first SMART campus in Pune as part of its Rs 420 crore investments in education in India over the coming years.
- GIIS said the concept of an international award-winning SMART Campus, launched in Singapore in 2018, will be implemented at Hadapsar and Balewadi campuses with the aim of providing students with NextGen learning to hone 21st century skills.It is aimed to provide students with NextGen learning to sharpen 21st-century skills.
- The Smart Campus will provide Digital and Virtual Classrooms for global student exchange, facial recognition for student attendance and campus security, innovation, artificial intelligence, robotics and entrepreneurship studios.
- Sports Analytics at the school level will be introduced for the first time in India which will monitor and improve on-field performances of students through data and statistical information- a technique used by international sports teams in basketball and soccer.
SUMMITS AND MEETINGS
Lucknow to host Asia’s biggest arms show ‘DefExpo’ in February 2020
The Defence Ministry has selected Lucknow to conduct Asia’s biggest defence exhibition in 2020. The state capital of Uttar Pradesh will conduct the 11th DefExpo from February 5th to 8th next year.
It will focus on India’s emerging manufacturing corridors with special focus on digital transformation of the industry
NOTE: The theme of DefExpo will be “India: the emerging defence manufacturing hub’’
Defexpo is a land,naval systems and Homeland security exhibition which used to be held only in New Delhi until the government decided to take it around the country.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid Foundation stone for Rs 20000 crore Bundelkhand defence Industrial Corridor in Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh in the month of February 2019.Despite India being the world’s biggest arms importer, the Defexpo exhibition will also act as a promoter of ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ to bring down arms imports.
- The previous edition took place in Tamilnadu.
Thirteenth Global Healthcare Summit organized by AAPI and GAPIO held in Hyderabad
- Shri Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 13th edition of the annual Global Healthcare Summit(GHS).The function is organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).
- The lighting of the traditional lamp and delivering the keynote address at the Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad. The GHS is being organized by AAPI in collaboration with the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin(BAPIO) and the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin(GAPIO).The American Association of Physicians of Indian origin as a professional association for Indian American physicians.
- During the Summit a medical quiz competition for medical students for the winners will be given ₹5lakh, ₹3lakh, and ₹1lakh as first, second and third prizes respectively.It is headquartered at Chicago.
- The GHS is being organized by AAPI in concert with the British Association of physicians of Indian Origin(BAPIO) and the Global Association of physicians of Indian Origin(GAPIO) along with several alumni chapters of medical schools in India.
- During the Summit a medical quiz competition for medical students will be held, where winners will be given ₹5lakh, ₹3lakh and ₹1lakh as first,second and third prizes respectively.
- Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, AAPI vice president for 2018-2019, said that the 14th edition of GHS will be held in Visakhapatnam , Andhra Pradesh in 2020.
DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Indian Navy commissions fifth Dornier Aircraft Squadron
Indian Navy commissioned its new Dornier Aircraft Squadron in Chennai onjuly22nd 2019.
The new air squadron was scheduled by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff at the Naval Air Enclave, Meenambakkam, Indian Navy said.The fifth Dornier squadron will help India track of the growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region.The need was felt to create an operational air base at Chennai to enable better surveillance in the region, Adm Karambir Singh said during his address.He added that the squadron would provide significant maritime surveillance capability and would contribute to enhanced maritime domain awareness, as well as enable faster response to emerging challenges.The squadron will operate the indigenous Hindustan Aeronautical built maritime surveillance version multi-role Dornier 228 Short Range Maritime reconnaissance aircraft from Chennai airport.
India will be the first recipient of AIIB local currency funding
- India will be the first recipient of local currency financing by the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank(AIIB).
- The objective of local currency financing is to provide more options to borrowers.
India is the second-largest shareholder of AIIB with a 7.5% stake. It has received about $2-billion funding for various projects so far.
- China holds 20.06% and Russia holds 5.92%.
World Bank to continue the support to Andhra Pradesh with over $1 Billion programme
The World Bank (WB) reaffirmed the support to the state of Andhra Pradesh with over $1 billion programs.On July 21, 2019, It covers the health, agriculture, energy and disaster management sectors.
A new $328 million support to the health sector was signed by the World Bank with the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Background: The Government of India (GoI) had withdrawn its request to the World Bank for financing the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project on July 15, 2019.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Hilary Swank to receive Leopard Club Award at 2019 Locarno International Film Festival
- Two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank will be honored at the 2019 Locarno International Film Festival with a lifetime achievement award at the 2019 Locarno International Film Festival which will be held from August 7- 17, 2019. It will be the 72nd edition of the film festival in Locarno, Switzerland.
- Swank will receive the festival’s Leopard Club Award, given to “a major film personality whose work has made a lasting impact on the collective imagination.”
- It is given to a “great personality of the cinema who through her or his work has managed to mark the collective imagination”.
The film festival will screen the films of Hilary Swank- “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2004) for which she had won Best Actress Academy Awards.
Previous recipients of the Leopard Club Award are Meg Ryan, Adrien Brody, Stefania Sandrelli, Andy Garcia, Mia Farrow and Faye Dunaway.
S. Sowmya selected for Sangita Kalanidhi Award 2019
- Noted vocalist S. Sowmya has been chosen for the Sangita Kalanidhi award of the Music Academy and she will preside over 93rd annual conference of the Academy to be held between December 12, 2019, and January 1, 2020.
- Seetha Narayanan, a veteran vocalist and M S Sheela, who has been a torch-bearer of Carnatic music in Karnataka, were selected for the Sangita Kala Acharya award.
- Nagaswaram artist ‘Vyasarpadi’ Kothandaraman and vocalist Rajkumar Bharathi, great grandson of national poet Subramani Bharath, were selected for the TTK Award in memory of T T Krishnamachari.
- Arati N Rao, an assistant professor in Bengaluru-based Jain University, was chosen for the Musicologist Award.
- The Nritya Kalanidhi title will be conferred to Bharatanatyam dancer Priyadarshini Govind.
- The Sangita Kalanidhi and other music awards will be conferred at the Sadas of the Music festival on January 1, 2020.
- The Nritya Kalanidhi award will be conferred at the inaugural of the dance festival scheduled which will be held on January 3, 2020.
World Reputation Rankings 2019
- World Reputation Rankings 2019 released by the Times Higher Education, among the Indian Institutes, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras andManipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal were awarded the top 3 positions.
- The 2019 rankings are based on a survey carried out between November 2018 and February 2019. It received a total of 11,554 responses from 135 countries.
- It ranked institutions for their reputation in research and teaching.
- MAHE was ranked 419 from 704 of 2018 rankings. It topped the list among the private institutions in India with 414 rank in Teaching and 458 in Research.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Ursula Von der Leyen is the first female European Commission president
- European Parliament elected Ursula von der Leyen as the President of the next European Commission. She will succeed Jean-Claude Juncker. She is set to take office on 1 November 2019 for a five-year term.
- Out of 733 votes casted, 383 members voted in favour of her.
- Earlier, She served in the federal government of Germany from 2005 to 2019 as the longest-serving member of Angela Merkel’s cabinet. She is a member of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Kalraj Mishra sworn in as Himachal Pradesh governor
Former Union minister Kalraj Mishra was sworn in as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh in a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan here on July 22. He replaced Acharya Devvrat, who has been shifted to Gujarat.
Mishra, 78, had resigned from the Narendra Modi-led government as Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in 2017 after he crossed the age of 75, the BJP’s unofficial age limit for holding an elected post.
Acharya Devvrat sworn in as governor of Gujarat
- On 22nd July 2019, Indian politician Acharya Dev Vrat (60) sworn in as the 20th governor of Gujarat. He took the oath in Sanskrit. He succeeded Om Prakash Kohli. He has been associated with arya samaj pracharak and served previously as the principal of a Gurukul in Kurukshetra, Haryana.He served as the 18th Governor of Himachal Pradesh till 21st July,2019.
- He is also the Chancellor of state universities of Himachal Pradesh and has over 30 years of experience in academics and administration.
- He has been working for a pollution free environment. He has been closely associated with campaigns against female foeticide and the “Beti Padhao-Beti Bacahao” campaign.
- His oath taking ceremony was attended by Outgoing governor OP Kohli, chief minister Vijay Rupani, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, state assembly speaker Rajendra Trivedi, several cabinet ministers, MLAs and senior officers were present at the function.
ENVIRONMENT AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT
IUCN: nearly 30,000 species are facing the risk of extinction
Scientist working for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has put a number, that over28,000 species worldwide are facing the risk of extinction in the wild. They have also added more than 7000species from around the planet to the red list. The researchers, in a new assessment for its “Red List of Threatened Species” have found that more than a quarter of species examined falls into a category that indicates they are at grave risk of going extinct. There are several iconic species among those critically endangered, including mountain Gorilla, Malayan tigers, Sumatran Rhinos, pangolins and Vaquitas.
IUCN Red list:
i. The IUCN lists available information on the species through several criteria.
ii. There are some types of questions which determines the speed of decline of the species in recent times, how widely it is distributed, how many mature individuals are still left etc.
iii. Then the species is put into one of Red List categories from least concern to extinct on the basis of risk of extinction.
India’s track and field legend PT Usha nominated for IAAF’s ‘Veteran Pin’
India’s track and field legend PT Usha has been nominated for the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) ‘Veteran Pin’ for her outstanding service to the sport.
Usha is one of the greatest sprinters to have come out of India and is often called the “queen of track and field”. She won five gold medals — 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay — besides a bronze in the 1985 Asian Athletic Championships which were held in Jakarta.
Hima Das & Muhammad Anas win gold in the 400m race held in Prague
On July 20, 2019, Hima Das won her fifth gold of the month after she won the 400m race in Prague, Czech Republic. She completed the race in 52.09 seconds and it was the season’s best timing. Her personal best timing is of 50.79 seconds which she had recorded at the Asian Games, 2018.i. In Men’s category, Muhammad Anas won the gold medal by completing the 400 m race in 45.40 seconds.
Former Australian Tennis Star Peter McNamara,passed away
Former Australian tennis star, Peter McNamara aged 64 passed away in Germany due to cancer. He was born in Melbourne, Australia. He retired in 1987 & started coaching.He coached Mark Philippoussis, guided Grigor Dimitrov in his formative years and more recently Matt Ebden and Wang Qiang.
- He reached a career-high No 7 in the world in 1983, beat all-time greats Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl to win two of his five singles titles.
- His highest rank in doubles was 3.
- He partnered with fellow Aussie Paul McNamee has won the 1980 and 1982 men’s doubles championship at Wimbledon and the Australian Open doubles in 1979.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano passed away
- The head of the global nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, has died at the age of 72, the agency announced.
- He has led the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 2009, and was due to step down in March because of an unspecified illness.
- During his tenure he had overseen a period of tense negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.
- It is not yet clear who will succeed him, though discussions over his replacement began last week.
- Book he authored:
i. “A Japanese View on Nuclear Disarmament”, The Non-Proliferation Review, 2002
ii. “The Significance of the NPT Extension”, Future Restraints on Arms Proliferation, 1996 iii“La Non-Prolifération Nucléaire en Extrême-Orient”, Proliferation et Non-Proliferation Nucleaire, 1995
iii. “Sea Dumping of Liquid Radioactive Waste by Russia”, Gaiko Jiho, 1994