India yet to find reason for darkening Siang (The Hindu)
The Union government has conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels of the government, on the unusual darkening of the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh , Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Indian Constitution and Polity
RS likely to send talaq Bill to select panel (The Hindu)
The House of Elders is likely to send the legislation making instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years, to a select committee.
A convict’s poverty should not be the reason for him to spend years in prison even after serving a substantial prison sentence, that too, merely because he is unable to pay the fine amount the criminal court had imposed on him, the Supreme Court said in a humanitarian judgment.
Taking on the gatekeepers (The Hindu Opinion)
As long as courts affirm ‘community’ claims, don’t expect the Censor Board to protect free speech.
A necessary reform (The Hindu Opinion)
We need to make disclosure of conflicts of interest mandatory
Women hail Bill against triple talaq (The Hindu)
A day after the Lok Sabha passed the contentious bill on instant triple talaq, the development was hailed by several Muslim women involved in the judicial war against the practice, with a rider that the government should have also banned polygamy.
Lok Sabha amends bankruptcy law (The Hindu)
The Lok Sabha amended the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code law to prevent wilful defaulters and existing promoters from taking part in insolvency proceedings of stressed assets of companies unless they make their bad loans operational by paying up interests.
Govt. injects funds into 6 public banks (The Hindu)
The Centre has released the much-required equity capital to six stressed public sector banks (PSBs) as some of these lenders were on the verge of breaching minimum capital norms on December 31, 2017.
‘E-way bill to boost GST compliance’ (The Hindu)
The mandatory implementation of the e-way bill system from February 1 for all inter-State movement of non-exempted goods will help boost compliance under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, according to Hasmukh Adhia, Finance Secretary.
Fiscal deficit breaches FY 18 target at Nov. end (The Hindu)
India’s fiscal deficit at the end of November breached the target and touched 112% of the budget estimate for 2017-18 mainly due to lower GST collections and higher expenditure.
With government data showing that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth $33.75 billion has already flowed into India in the first half of this fiscal, the country is poised to see FDI inflows in 2017-18 surpassing even the record $60 billion it received in the last financial year.
The government has joined the Reserve Bank of India in cautioning potential customers about investing in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, likening them to ponzi schemes where investors risk losing their money.
NGT orders closure of 19 tanneries (The Hindu)
The National Green Tribunal has ordered closure of 19 tanneries for discharging pollutants including heavy metals into drains in Punjab’s Jalandhar district which was resulting in serious environmental hazards.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday expressed hope that people living on the shrinking Majuli island will be able to put their worries to rest once the Central and State government schemes to prevent the isle from erosion are successfully implemented.
It is Albania’s national symbol, but the eagle may soon only be found on the flag. The majestic bird is threatened with extinction due to widespread poaching of raptors.
Science and Technology
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday said it would launch 31 satellites, including India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation space craft, in a single mission on January 10.
Photovoltaic road tested in China (The Hindu)
China successfully tested its first photovoltaic highway based on home-grown technology in the country’s eastern Shandong province on Thursday, according to reports from Xinhua. The road has wireless charging systems for electric vehicles.
No safety precautions (The Hindu)
The N.M. Joshi Marg police have found that even basic safety precautions were not followed and this could have played a role in the number of fatalities. Soon after the blaze was extinguished around 6.23 a.m., fire officials, along with police and civic officials, entered the remains of the Trade House, where the pub was located, to conduct inquiries.
Violators must pay: on fire tragedies (The Hindu Editorial)
Mumbai’s fire tragedies must be thoroughly probed, and fire safety enforced countrywide.
Yesterday’s Current affairs material by ForumIAS