Supreme Court refers jallikattu case to Constitution Bench
The Supreme Court on February 2, 2018 referred Constitution Bench to decide whether the people of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra can conserve jallikattu and bullock-cart races as their cultural right and demand their protection under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.
A Supreme Court Bench consisting Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman formulated five questions for the Constitution Bench to decide on.
The Constitution Bench would also look into whether the 2017 jallikattu and bullock cart races laws of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra actually subserve the objective of “prevention” of cruelty to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The Bench will also have to say whether the laws are really in consonance with the basic tenets of the 1960 Act.
Article 29 (1) is a fundamental right guaranteed under Part III of the Indian Constitution to protect the educational and cultural rights of citizens.
Delhi Sealing drive: DDA clears proposed amendments
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on February 2, 2018 approved changes to the Master Plan in a move to provide relief to traders hit by the sealing drive.
The proposed amendments in the Master Plan include increase in the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of local shopping complexes (LSCs) from existing 180 per cent to 300 per cent and regularising agricultural godowns on 12-metre wide roads.
The sealing drive was conducted against business establishments using residential areas for commercial purposes without paying conversion charges. According to the proposed amendments, there will be a reduction in conversion charge penalties from existing 10 times to two times.
As per the amendments, commercial activity in the basements will be allowed in all commercial areas "subject to payment of requisite charges without any discrimination".
Union Home Ministry allots Rs 370 crore to strengthen border infrastructure
The Union Home Ministry on February 1, 2018 sanctioned nearly Rs 370 crore to Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) for construction of bunkers and special climate- controlled huts in forward areas.
The amount will be spent for construction of bunkers, fortifying border out posts of the BSF along the Indo-Pak border, construction of climate-controlled huts, procurement of snow scooter for the ITBP besides other necessary works of the two forces.
The BSF guards the 2526.86-km-long Indo-Pak border including 237.2 km of the Line of Control, and 4096.7 km of the Indo-Bangladesh border. While, ITBP guards the 3488-km-long Sino-India border that runs through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Bhutan becomes second country to open consulate in Guwahati
Bhutan on February 2. 2018 became the second country after Bangladesh to open a consulate in Guwahati, Assam, the state which is trying to shake off the militancy tag.
In May 2017, Bangladesh had established a consular office headed by an assistant high commissioner.
Bhutan has had a consulate in Kolkata for years besides a high commission in New Delhi. Bhutan’s social, cultural and economic ties with Assam are deep-rooted, and Guwahati has been a prime destination for Bhutanese traders, students and patients referred by our doctors to hospitals in India.
Rare 200 million-year-old fossil of marine dinosaur discovered
A rare 200 million-year-old fossil of a marine dinosuar has been identified more than two decades after it was discovered in a Somerset quarry.
The fossil, which was found near Doniford Bay in Watchet in the 1990's. It is only the second example of Wahlisaurus massarae, a new species of ichthyosaur, discovered by Manchester University palaeontologist Dean Lomax.
Ichthyosaurs were a type of sea-going reptile that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Their fossils are often found in Britain.