Top 10 Weekly Current Affairs: 11 February to 16 February 2019
India has withdrawn the ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ status accorded to Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir that led to the killing of 37 CRPF personnel and injuring of many others.
India withdraws Most Favoured Nation status accorded to Pakistan
India on February 15, 2019 withdrew the ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ status accorded to Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir that led to the killing of 37 CRPF personnel and injuring of many others.
On February 14, 2019, at least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and dozens injured after a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kilograms (kg) of explosives into their bus at Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Yojana launched: Everything you need to know
The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment on February 15, 2019 launched the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana (PM-SYM), a mega pension scheme for unorganised sector. The scheme was announced in the Interim Budget 2019.
Implemented from February 15 itself, the PM-SYM is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme that will engage as many as 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector. The unorganised sector workers, with income of less than Rs 15,000 per month and who belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years, will be eligible for the scheme.
Vande Bharat Express: PM Modi launches India’s first semi-high speed train
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15, 2019 flagged off India's first Semi High Speed Train, ‘Vande Bharat Express’ on New Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route from the New Delhi Railway Station.
With maximum speed of 160 kmph, Vande Bharat Express or Train-18 offers travel classes like Shatabdi Train but with better facilities with a totally new travel experience to passengers. Vande Bharat Express is regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express. Shatabdi was introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.
Parliament passes Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019
The Parliament on February 13, 2019 passed the Personal Laws (Amendment Bill), 2018 that seeks to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce. The bill was passed after upper house of the Parliament Rajya Sabha approved it without discussion.
The lower house of the Parliament, Lok Sabha had passed the bill on January 7, 2019. Leprosy is being removed as a ground for divorce as it is now a curable disease as against the earlier notion of it being incurable.
The bill seeks to amend five personal laws- the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939, Divorce Act (for Christians) 1869, Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956- to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce.
Union Cabinet approves Introduction of Registration of Marriage of NRI Bill, 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 13, 2019 approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019 to create more accountability to Indian citizens living abroad.
The bill mainly seeks to offer more protection against the exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly Indian women by their NRI partners. It provides for amendment of the legal framework to act as a deterrent to the erring NRI spouses and creating more accountability and offer protection against exploitation of Indian Citizens, specially women married to NRIs.
India, Norway launch ‘India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative’ to combat Marine Pollution
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on February 11, 2019 signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to launch the ‘India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative’.
The Joint Initiative was signed by Nils Ragnar Kamsvag, Norwegian Ambassador to India and Anil Kumar Jain, Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. A Joint Task Force on Blue Economy was also established under the aegis of the MoU to promote multi-sectoral cooperation in various aspects of Blue Economy.
Abu Dhabi adds Hindi as third official court language
The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) has added Hindi as the third official language to be used in the city's courts, alongside Arabic and English.
The move is aimed at helping foreigners to learn about litigation procedures, their rights and duties without a language barrier, in addition to facilitating registration procedures through unified forms available through the judicial department’s website.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi elected as new chair of African Union
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on February 10, 2019 took over as the chair of the African Union (AU) following a meeting by heads of state from the continent in Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa.
The post of AU’s chair rotates annually between the five regions of the continent. The Incoming AU chairman President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to focus on the fight against armed groups on the continent and rebuilding efforts of countries recovering from conflict.
It is the first time since the AU was founded in 2002 that Egypt assumes the top seat of the body.
SC directs NCM to decide on redefining 'Minority'
The Supreme Court on February 11, 2019 directed the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to take a decision within three months on a representation seeking guidelines to redefine the term 'Minority'.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay to re-file his representation to the Minority Commission and directed the Commission to take a decision in this regard within three months in the context of state-wise population of a community.
First batch of 4 Boeing heavy-lift helicopters arrive in India from US
The first batch of four Boeing heavy-lift Chinook Helicopters, CH-47F (I), arrived at the Mundra airport in Gujarat on February 10, 2019.
Procured from the United States, the Chinook Helicopters are expected to provide impetus to the heavy-lift capabilities of Indian Air Force (IAF) and strengthen the defence ties with the United States.
Manufactured by Boeing, the CH-47F (I) will be stationed at Chandigarh air base of the Indian Air Force. The Chandigarh air base takes care of providing necessary items to Siachen and Eastern Ladakh sectors.