National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 25th July 2018
Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill
Why in news?
The Lok Sabha passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018, that seeks to punish bribe-givers and bribe-takers.
- The Bill provides for jail terms of three to seven years, besides fine, to those convicted of taking bribes and those offering illegal gratification.
- The Bill also extends the ambit of public servants who will be protected by the provision of a prior government sanction for prosecution.
- There is also a provision now to get prior permission for starting an investigation.
Taj vision document
Why in news ?
The Uttar Pradesh government handed over to the Supreme Court its draft of a vision document proposing to declare the Taj Mahal complex a no-plastic zone, rid of all polluting industries.
- The State said even use of bottled water should be prohibited, with special emphasis on eco-friendly tourism hubs.
- Comprehensive traffic management plan along the Yamuna river- front aimed at promoting pedestrian movement in the Taj heritage precinct.
- Further, there should be no construction on the Yamuna floodplain, and the riverbank should only have natural plantations.
The Supreme Court has been monitoring the development in the area to protect the UNESCO world heritage structure, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1643.
China and Bhutan agreement
Why in news?
China and Bhutan have discussed their boundary dispute and reached many agreements during a two-day visit of Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, the Foreign Ministry.
The two countries do not have diplomatic relations but maintain contacts through periodic visits by officials.
- Two sides should continue to push forward the border negotiations.
- abide by the principled consensus reached.
- jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.
- create positive conditions for the final settlement of the border issue between the two.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
Why in news?
By amending Sukanya Samriddhi Account Rules, 2016, the Union Government has reduced minimum yearly deposit required under popular girl child savings scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana to Rs 250 from Rs 1,000 earlier.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is a small deposit scheme for the girl child launched as a part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign.
- It is currently 8.1 per cent and provides income-tax benefit under section 80 C of the Income Tax Act,1961. Even the returns are tax free in the scheme.
- A Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened any time after the birth of a girl till she turns 10, with a minimum deposit of Rs 250 (Earlier it was Rs 1,000). In subsequent years, a minimum of Rs 250 and a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited during the ongoing financial year.
- The account can be opened in any post office or authorised branches of commercial banks.
- The account will remain operative for 21 years from the date of its opening or till the marriage of the girl after she turns 18.
- To meet the requirement of her higher education expenses, partial withdrawal of 50% of the balance is allowed after she turns 18.
Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017
Why in news?
Lok Sabha has passed Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to reduce the number of cheque dishonour cases pending in courts.
Salient features of the bill
- The bill amends Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 to primarily address issues of dishonor of cheques and deal with unnecessary delay in disposal of such cases.
- The Act defines promissory notes, bills of exchange, and cheques. It also specifies penalties for bouncing of cheques, and other violations with respect to such negotiable instruments.
- The Bill inserts new Section 143 A in parent Act to allow court trying offence related to cheque bouncing to direct drawer (person who writes cheque) to pay interim compensation to complainant.
- This compensation may be paid under certain circumstances, including where drawer pleads not guilty of accusation. It will not exceed 20% of cheque amount and will be paid by drawer within 60 days of trial court’s order to pay such compensation.
- The Bill inserts another new Section 148-A in the parent act specifying that if drawer convicted in cheque bouncing case files appeal, appellate court may direct him to deposit minimum of 20% of fine or compensation awarded by trial court during conviction.
- This amount will be in addition to any interim compensation paid by drawer during earlier trial proceedings.
- In case drawer is acquitted during trial or by appellate court, then court will direct complainant to return interim compensation (or deposit in case of an appeal case), along with interest. This amount will be repaid within 60 days of court’s order.
What is a negotiable instrument?
It refers to any legal documents like cheques, promissory notes, bill of exchange etc which promises to pay bearer or holder of instrument or person whose name is written on instrument specific amount of money either on demand or after specified time i.e. on some future date.
Why in news?
First meeting of India-Bangladesh Joint Committee on Border Haats was recently held in Agartala, Tripura.
About border Haats
- They are market places organised by the two countries one day each week. It is not only a market for buying daily commodities but also a reunion spot for families living on both sides.
- The border haats aim at promoting the wellbeing of the people dwelling in remote areas across the borders of two countries, by establishing traditional system of marketing the local produce through local markets.
- Currently, four border haats are operational along the India-Bangladesh border. Two border haats are located in Meghalaya at Kalaichar and Balat and two are located in Tripura at Srinagar and Kamalasagar.
Renewable energy: With 27% of its power generation coming from renewable energy, Karnataka has emerged the leading State for renewable energy in India this year, pipping Tamil Nadu. The State reached 12.3 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity as of March 2018, according to a new report.