Current Affair of 17 March 2018, Exam View.
105th Indian Science Congress
105th Indian Science Congress is inaugurated in Imphal, Manipur by PM Narendra Modi. It is organised every year in the first week of January. Earlier this congress was to be held at Osmania University in Hyderabad on January 3-7, but due to security reasons, it was shifted to Manipur University.
Science Congress is being organized by Indian Science Congress Association since 1914, with the intention of using it right for the development of scientific psychology, modern science and society in India.
Atal Bhoojal Yojna
The Central Government has proposed to start an ambitious ‘Atal Bhoomi-Jal Yojna’ since April 2018 for improving the ground water conservation and its level in the country.
- A provision of Rs. 6000 crores has been made for this scheme in which share of the World Bank and the Central Government will be 50:50 percent respectively.
- Scheme has been proposed for water scarcity areas in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Under this 78 district, 193 blocks and 8350 villages will be included.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Water Resources, the per capita(per person) availability of water in India has decreased from 5177 cubic meter in the year 1951 to 1545 cubic meters in 2011.As per the previous year’s report of the Central Ground Water Board, out of the 6584 groundwater blocks in the country, 1034 blocks have been used extensively.
LaQshya programme launched
The Union Health Ministry launch LaQshya programme, aimed at improving quality of care in for pregnant women in labour room and maternity Operation Theatre (OT) and Obstetrics Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs).
The LaQshya program is being implemented at all Medical College Hospitals, District Hospitals and First Referral Unit (FRU), and Community Health Center (CHCs) and will benefit every pregnant woman and new-born delivering in public health institutions.
The programme aims at implementing ‘fast-track’ interventions for achieving tangible results within 18 months, noted a senior Health official. Under the initiative, a multipronged strategy has been adopted,
Haryana assembly passes death penalty for child rape
Haryana assembly passes a bill providing for death penalty to those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below. With this Haryana become the third state to pass such a bill after Madhya Pradesh and Rajsthan.
The Criminal law(Haryana Amendment) Bill 2018 passed on the last day of budget session.
“After Section 376-A of the Penal Code, the following Section shall be inserted, namely 376-AA,” the Bill stated.
Lok Sabha passes bill to enable govt to double tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh.
The Lok Sabha passes the Payment of Gratuity(Amendment) 2017 bill which seeks to empower the government to fix period of maternity leave and tax-free gratuity amount with an executive order, with this bill government would be able to enhance the ceiling of tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh from existing Rs 10 lakh for employee under the Payment of Gratuity Act
After implementation of the seventh Central Pay Commission, the ceiling of gratuity amount for central government employees has increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. The unions are demanding for inclusion of the change into the Act
Now, the bill will go to the Upper House for consideration and passage.
The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, was enacted to provide for gratuity payment to employees engaged in factories, mines, oilfields, plantations, ports, railway companies, shops or other establishments.The law is applicable to employees, who have completed at least five years of continuous service in an establishment that has 10 or more persons.
The amendment will also allow the central government to notify the maternity leave period for “female employees as deemed to be in continuous service in place of existing twelve weeks”. The proposal comes against the backdrop of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 enhancing the maximum maternity leave period to 26 weeks.
World Happiness Report
- World Happiness Report is released by U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN), ranked 156 countries according to their scores for things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
- The report also focused on emerging health problems such as obesity, depression and the opioid crisis.
- The 2018 top-10, as ever dominated by the Nordics, is: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.
- India ranked 133rd in the global list of the happiest countries which is lower than other SAARC countries rank.
- India has been consistently falling in the happiness index since 2014.