The HINDU Notes – 14th July 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)
Tribunal prohibits dumping of waste near Ganga banks
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
- Area of 100 metres from the edge of the Ganga between Haridwar and Unnao has been declared a ‘No Development Zone’.
- Prohibited dumping of waste within 500 metres of the river.
- An environment compensation of Rs. 50,000 will be imposed on anyone dumping waste in the river.
- Directed the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to formulate guidelines for religious activities on the ghats of the Ganga and its tributaries.
Other orders by NGT
- The authorities concerned should complete projects, including a sewage treatment plant and cleaning of drains, within two years.
- The Uttar Pradesh government is duty-bound to shift tanneries, within six weeks, from Jajmau in Kanpur to leather parks in Unnao or any other place it considers appropriate
- All industrial units in the catchment areas of the Ganga should be stopped from indiscriminate groundwater extraction.
- No in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the floodplain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual.
- The court also appointed a supervisory committee, headed by the Secretary of the Water Resources Ministry and comprising IIT professors and officials of the Uttar Pradesh government, to oversee implementation of the directions passed in its verdict.
- The committee is to submit reports at regular intervals.
Open to out-of-tribunal settlement on Mahadayi dispute: Goa
- Marking a clear departure from its stand against any out-of-court settlement in the long simmering Mahadayi water dispute with Karnataka, the Goa Minister for Water Resources, Vinod Palyekar, said they were open to talks with Karnataka and Maharashtra to explore an out-of-tribunal settlement.
- The tribunal expected to give its verdict next month before the expiry of its term.
- Mr. Palyekar, who represents the Goa Forward Party in the BJP-led coalition government in the state, remarked that all three States have been spending huge money over the dispute and the legal battle has been on for long. It would be in the fitness of things to explore an amicable solution.
- Mr. Palyekar said that Goa has only Mahadayi as its main source of water as against Karnataka which has many such sources.
- The river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji. While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, its major length of 81.2 km is in Goa.
- Goa and Karnataka are battling out the long simmering dispute over the latter’s controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam projects across the Mahadayi, which is known as the Mandovi river once it enters Goa.
- Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in North Karnataka.
‘T.N. can claim only 132 tmcft water’
- Even as Karnataka sought a reduction in the quantum of Cauvery water it should release to Tamil Nadu from 192 tmcft to 132 tmcft, the Supreme Court said it would take a balanced view, keeping in mind the interests of the people of both the States.
- Karnataka said the extent of its drought-prone area was 21,870 sq. km as against 12,790 sq. km in Tamil Nadu.
- Citing a study, it said the contributions to the flow in the Cauvery by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala were 425 tmcft, 252 tmcft and 113 tmcft, amounting to 790 tmcft. The tribunal did not apportion the water on the basis of the “settled principles of equity,” it said.
Now, e-visa facility for Uganda
- After much deliberation, India has added Uganda to the list of countries to which it extends the electronic visa (or e-visa) facility.
- At present, India offers e-visa facility to only 18 of the 54 African nations. Following adverse reports from intelligence agencies, Uganda had been on the list of 36 countries, such as Egypt, Congo, Chad, Ethiopia and Algeria, which were not covered under the scheme.
- “We were trying to convince the intelligence agencies to remove Uganda from the high-risk category of nations, as there is a healthy trade and business relationship with the African nation. The e-visa scheme will further boost our prospects,” said a senior government official.
- The e-visa is an online pre-authorisation that allows visa on arrival through nine designated airports and three sea-ports for a 60-day stay. It entails a procedure that is easier compared to the normal visa process as applicants don’t have to visit the Indian mission and provide biometrics. Instead, it is granted on the basis of scanned documents uploaded by the applicant.
- India is currently in stiff competition with China for the Ugandan import market.
- The East Africa nation is also home to a 30,000-strong Indian community, mostly Gujaratis.
- In the past, security agencies had reported the presence of several Mumbai-based underworld gangsters in Kampala, the country’s capital. This had discouraged India from extending the e-visa facility to Ugandans, an official said.
- In March, the Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda was in Mumbai, where he met heads of automobile and pharmaceutical firms and pledged to invest $100 million in India.
- In February, Vice-President Hamid Ansari on his visit to Uganda announced that the two countries had agreed to expand cooperation in the “energy sector, training of personnel for space research, and peaceful uses of atomic energy”.
- The Home Ministry implements the e-visa scheme, and any country is removed or added to the list on the basis of inputs from security agencies.
- At present, India offers the e-visa facility to 162 countries.
- Recently, the government increased the window for application under the e-visa system from 30 to 120 days.
- Once applied for, the e-visa is granted within 72 hours.
- Conceptualised when the UPA was in power, the e-visa facility was operationalised in 2014.
Liu Xiaobo, Chinese dissident who won Nobel prize, dies
- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent political prisoner, died at a hospital in China. He was 61.
- Liu had been transferred to the hospital after being diagnosed with advanced liver cancer in prison in May 2017 but remained under police custody
- Liu was only the second Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in prison, a fact pointed to by human rights groups as an indication of the Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly hard line against its critics.
- The first, Carl von Ossietzky, died from tuberculosis in Germany in 1938 while serving a sentence for opposing Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.
- Liu’s supporters and foreign governments had urged China to allow him to receive treatment abroad, but Chinese authorities insisted he was receiving the best care possible for a disease that had spread throughout his body.
- Liu was imprisoned for the first time in connection with the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.
- He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010 while serving his fourth and final prison sentence, for inciting subversion by advocating sweeping political reforms and greater human rights in China.
- When the Chinese government sent troops and tanks into Beijing to quash the protests on the night of June 3-4, Liu persuaded some students to leave the square rather than face down the army. The military crackdown killed hundreds, possibly thousands, of people and heralded a more repressive era.
President’s nod for Bill against social boycott
- Maharashtra has become the first State in the country to enact a law against social boycott from caste panchayats
- President has given his nod to implement the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill in the State
Motive behind the enactment of this law
- There are growing instances of boycotts of individuals or families by caste panchayats
- Maharashtra Government was considering to enact a special law for such kind of cases from 2010(Congress at that time)
Provisions of Punishment under the new law
- The bill makes provision for punishment of up to three years in jail and/or a fine up to Rs. 1 lakh
- The case has to be fast tracked within six months from the date of filing the charge sheet
- The fine charged from accused will be partially or fully handed over to the victim
PM’s task force recommends scrapping 5-yearly job survey
- The Prime Minister-appointed task force headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya, in the report has recommended that traditional Employment-Unemployment Surveys carried out by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) every five years be scrapped.
Other measures recommended:
- A new periodic labour force survey to provide estimates of labour force, employment, unemployment, nature of employment and industry.
- To get more frequent employment trends data, an urban module of this survey will be updated every quarter.
- A time use survey should also be conducted at three year intervals to provide data on time spent in various occupations and non-market activities. This survey will collect information on how individuals allocate their time over a specified time period, usually a day or a week.
- The survey will help track how time spent by households has been changing and measure women’s participation in unpaid work.
- Centre can tap the GST Network database as a sample frame for a new annual survey of enterprises.