Current Affairs in Short: 8 February 2018
The Supreme Court on February 8, 2018 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal within four weeks. The apex court also directed the state government to explain why there was a sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.
SC directs UP Government to file vision document for protection and preservation of Taj Mahal
The Supreme Court on February 8, 2018 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal within four weeks.
The apex court also directed the state government to explain why there was a sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.
TTZ is an area of about 10400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
The court was hearing a plea filed by an Environmentalist seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area. The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
ISRO sets up 473 Village Resource Centres for rural development through satellite technology
ISRO has established Village Resource Centres (VRCs) on a pilot scale, in association with selected NGOs, Trusts and State Government Departments, to demonstrate the potential of satellite technology for development of rural areas,
VRCs have provided various space technology enabled services such as tele-healthcare, tele-education, natural resources information, advisories related to agriculture, career guidance to rural students, skill development and vocational training etc.
Around Rs 18 crores was spent for establishing 473 VRCs.
Cabinet approves hike in MSP for Copra for 2018 season
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of "Milling Copra" to Rs7500 per quintal for 2018 season from Rs. 6500 per quintal in 2017.
The MSP for FAQ of "Ball Copra" has been increased to Rs 7750 per quintal for 2018 season from Rs 6785 per quintal in 2017.
The approval is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). CACP, an expert body, which takes into account the cost of production, trends in the domestic and international prices of edible oils, overall demand and supply of copra and coconut oil, cost of processing of copra into coconut oil and the likely impact of the recommended MSPs on consumers, while recommending the MSPs.
Cabinet approves rationalization of Autonomous Bodies under Department of Health & Family Welfare
The Union Cabinet on February 7, 2018 approved the proposal for closure of Autonomous Bodies, namely, Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) and the functions of these bodies were proposed to be vested in Department of Health & Family Welfare (DoHFW).
The rationalization of Autonomous Bodies under Department of Health & Family Welfare will involve inter-ministerial consultations and review of existing bye laws of these bodies. The time frame for implementation of this decision is one year.
Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) was set up as a registered society to provide financial medical assistance to poor patients receiving treatment in designated central government hospitals. While, Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) was set up with a corpus grant of Rs 100 crores in the year 2003 to raise awareness for population stabilization strategies.
Cabinet approves changes in the Major Port Authorities Bill 2016
The Union Cabinet approved the incorporation of the Official Amendments to the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016, which is pending in the Parliament. The Amendments are based on the recommendations of the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee.
As per the amendments, the number of the Labour representatives to be appointed in the Port Authority Board among the serving employees of the Port has been increased from one to two. The number of Independent Members in the Port Authority Board would be minimum two to maximum four.
Every person who was receiving any retirement benefit from the Board of Trustees under the Major Port Trust Act, 1963 immediately before such date, shall continue to receive the same benefit from the Board.
The Board of each Major Port shall be entitled to create specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure established or proposed to be established within the port limits and the land appurtenant thereto.