Current Affairs in Short: 24 January 2018
The Delhi High Court has refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit, but restrained the Election Commission (EC) from taking any precipitate measures such as announcing dates for by-polls till January 29.
1. UP Cabinet approves 'one district, one product' scheme
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved 'one district, one product' scheme to promote products indigenous to every district.
The implementation of the scheme will boost economic development of the state and also help in the generation of five lakh new jobs annually. Under the scheme, one product indigenous to every district would be showcased at the three-day UP Diwas event.
The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adiatyanth.
2. EU takes Panama, seven others off tax haven list
The European Union removed eight countries including Panama from its new tax haven blacklist on January 23, 2018, after they pledged to address its concerns.
The other nations removed from the blacklist include the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Mongolia, Macau, Grenada and Barbados. The move comes just weeks after the bloc unveiled its original list of 17 non-EU nations.
The decision drew sharp criticism from campaigners who say the EU's commitment to tackle tax avoidance after the ‘Panama Papers’ leak in 2017 has now been watered down.
The EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes now includes just nine jurisdictions including American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.
3. NHRC issues notice to Odisha Govt over closure of schools
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Odisha government and the Centre, after a media report revealed that a large number of government-run primary and upper primary schools have been closed in the state due to less number of students.
The NHRC stated that the media report has raised the issue of Right to Education of young students, mostly belonging to poor families of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and other backward communities.
The Commission further observed that it appears that government schools are lacking basic amenities and the number of teachers is also not adequate. It said that opening of private schools cannot be a solution.
4. Supreme Court asks Centre to set up Mahanadi water tribunal
The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to set up a tribunal within a month to resolve the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of water from river Mahanadi.
The orders were issued by a bench of Justices comprising SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao. The bench stated that all the pending issues can be raised before the tribunal. It, however, refused to grant any stay sought by the Odisha government on the seven small dams across Mahanadi river, which flows through Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha before pouring into the Bay of Bengal.
The state of Odisha has been opposing Chhattisgarh's plans to build 13 barrages and seven pick up weirs across Mahanadi, in a plan to extract more water. According to the state, the move would adversely affect the interests of its farmers.
5. Tamil Nadu CM Palanichamy receives UNESCO Award
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K Palanichamy on January 24, 2018 received the UNESCO Award of Merit awarded to the iconic Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple in the city of Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.
The award of merit is being awarded by UNESCO Asia Pacific region for the reconstruction activities undertaken in the temple without in the least affecting its traditional splendour and Vedic rituals.
The temple complex, situated in a sprawling ground of more than 156 acres, is the most sacred pilgrimage centre of the Vaishnava Hindus.
6. Former Bihar CM convicted in third fodder scam case
Lalu Prasad Yadav, the former Chief Minister of Bihar was on January 24, 2018 convicted in the third fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s.
The ruling was laid out by a special CBI court. CBI judge SS Prasad also found another former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and others guilty in the case. Former Bihar minister Vidyasagar Nishad, ex-Bihar Assembly PAC chief Jagdish Sharma, former MLAs Dhruv Bhagat and R K Rana and three ex-IAS officers were also among the 50 persons who were convicted.
The quantum of sentence is yet to be announced. The 69-year-old Prasad is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Jail here in connection with another fodder scam case.
7. No stay on AAP MLAs disqualification
The Delhi High Court on January 24, 2018 refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit, but restrained the Election Commission (EC) from taking any "precipitate measures" like announcing dates for by-polls till January 29.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru sought the response of the poll panel and the Centre on the AAP legislators' pleas challenging their disqualification for holding office of profit. The high court summoned the entire records pertaining to the proceedings leading to the recommendation of the EC for 20 MLAs' disqualification, which received the President's assent on January 20.
The court said the matter required consideration, and hence it would hear it on a day-to-day basis from January 29 onwards.