· Himachal Pradesh assembly passes strict NDPS Bill
ð The Himachal Pradesh assembly on y passed a stringent NDPS Bill2018 with amendments, making all offenses under the NDPS Act a non-bailable. The Bill also does not provide any relaxation in cannabis cultivation or use, which was a major point of contention raised by some MLAs.
ð The Bill, if cleared by the Centre, will land a person carrying any amount of drug in jail till the court grants bail after hearing the public prosecutor.
ð Some MLSs said that cannabis should be excluded from the list of chemical and synthetic drugs and the House should form a committee to distinguish types of drugs first, failing which many innocent people might land in jail. They claimed cannabis has several medicinal qualities, which is why the government was planning to legalize cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use.
- Global Nutrition Report, 2018
- India has the highest number of ‘stunted’ children in the world and nearly a third of all stunted children worldwide are to be found in India as per the recently released WHO’s Global Nutrition Report, 2018.
- Stunting among children aged under five has fallen from 32.6 per cent in 2000 to 22.2 per cent in 2017.
- The Global Nutrition Report is the world’s leading report on the state of global nutrition. The report is delivered by an Independent Expert Group and guided at a strategic level by a Stakeholder Group, whose members also review the Report.
- Major Ports register positive growth of 4.83%
- The major ports in India have recorded a growth of 4.83% and together handled 461.21Million Tonnes of cargo during the period April to November, 2018 as against 439.96 Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year.
- For the period from April- November 2018, Nine Ports Kolkata (incl. Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Kamarajar, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, JNPT and Deendayal have registered positive growth in traffic.
- The highest growth was registered by Kamarajar Port (20.15%), followed by Cochin (11.73%), Paradip (9.73%), Kolkata [inc. Haldia] (8.52%) and Deendayal( 7.37%).
- India successfully test-fires Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile Agni-5
- The indigenously built Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile Agni-5 has been test-fired successfully from Abdul Kalam island under Chandipur Interim Test Range.
- This is the fourth successful test of this missile. Previously the test of Agni 4 was unsuccessful. Having 17 meters length and 2 meters diameter the missile can hit the target from a distance of 5 thousand kilometres.
- It can carry both nuclear and traditional weapons. The first test was conducted in 2012 from ITR Chandipur in Balasore district.
· Indian Railways launched Rail Madad
- Indian Railways (IR)launched ‘Rail Madad’, a mobile app which will help the passengers to register complaints through mobile phone/web. It will also enable them tocommunicate real-time feedback on the status of redressal of their complaints.
- The digital initiative integrates all the passenger complaints received from multiple modes on a single platform. The app has two modes of registration of complaints, web-based and mobile app-based. Web-based complaints can be registered throughin. For mobile-app based app, the app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Apple IOS (iPhone) Store.
- An aggrieved passenger will get an instant ID through SMS on registration of complaintfollowed by a customized SMS communicating the action taken thereon by the railways.
· In a first, Indian Air Force conducted Exercise ‘Cross Bow 18’
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted combined guided weapons firing of Surface-to-Air Missilesfrom the Air Force Station located at Suryalanka, Andhra Pradesh.
- The first-of-its-kind exercise for the Air Force was code-named ‘CROSS BOW-18′.
- CROSS BOW-18 saw the successful firing of four different classes of missiles like Akash, Spyder, OSA-AK-M and IGLA.
- RBI may introduce live video KYC for customer verification
- The Reserve Bank of India may reportedly introduce new modes of customer e-verification, including live video, in financial institutions.
- This comes after Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of Aadhaar Actin September, thereby nullifying biometric e-KYC.
- RBI may introduce a digital method that would use XML internet format to extract limited information on customers from the Aadhaar database.
· NGT forms committee to prepare scrapping of banned diesel, petrol vehicles
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) formed a committee to prepare a policy for dealing with the scrapping of banned petrol and diesel vehicles.
- The committee will consist of the secretary, Ministry of Road Transport, central government with representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),Environment Ministry and the Delhi government.
- The Supreme Court order, the Delhi government has deregistered 40 lakh vehicles, which include petrol vehicles that are 15-years-old and 10-years-old diesel vehicles, and they are being dumped in the Mayapuri scrap market.
- The green panel directed the Delhi chief secretary to take steps and prepare an action plan for shifting the scrap yards from busy localities of the city to other appropriate locations, within three months.
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