Somnath Chatterjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker, passes away
Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee passed away on August 13, 2018 morning after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was 89. He is survived by a son Pratap Chatterjee and two daughters Anuradha and Anushila.
Chatterjee was a Central Committee Member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM), which he had joined in 1968. A 10-time MP of the Lok Sabha, Chatterjee represented Burdwan, Jadavpur and Bolpur parliamentary constituencies of West Bengal from 1971 to 2009.
NASA launches Parker Solar Probe mission to study Sun’s corona
US space agency NASA on August 12, 2018 launched Parker Solar Probe, a historic mission to touch the sun. The main aim of the mission is to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before. The rocket carrying the solar probe lifted off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US.
The mission is named after astrophysicist Eugene Parker, 91, the physicist who first theorised the existence of the solar wind in 1958. It is the first space craft to be named after a living person. A plaque dedicating the mission to Parker was attached to the spacecraft in May. It includes a quote from the renowned physicist – “Let’s see what lies ahead.”
Railways to give 50 per cent reservation to women in RPF recruitment
Indian Railways will soon provide 50 per cent reservation to women in the recruitment of Railway Protection Force (RPF). The announcement was made Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on August 12, 2018 while inaugurating various rail projects in Patna, Bihar.
The Railways has decided to provide 50 per cent reservation to women in the upcoming RPF recruitment process, which will involve recruitment of around 9500-10000 RPF jawans. In total, about 10,000 jobs are expected to be created in the RPF. The recruitment for the same is expected to begin soon.
Private companies need to disclose compliance under Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act: Government
The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs, vide its July 31, 2018 notification, amended the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 and inserted a clause saying that companies need to include a statement disclosing their compliance under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
With this amendment, the disclosure of constitution of Internal Complaints Committee under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act in the Directors Report of every company is now mandatory.
Government dismisses Allahabad Bank CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian from service
The Union Government on August 13, 2018 dismissed Usha Ananthasubramanian, former CEO/ MD of Allahabad Bank and scam hit Punjab National Bank (PNB), from service.
Though the Allahabad Bank had divested Ananthasubramanian of all her powers as MD three months back, after she was named in the CBI charge-sheet in the Rs 14,000 crore PNB fraud case, she had continued to be an employee of the bank.
She was dismissed from service on the day when she was supposed to superannuate.
EIU releases Global Liveability Index 2018: Vienna tops; Delhi ranks at 112th
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on August 14, 2018 released the Global Liveability Index 2018, the ranking of 140 global cities based on their living conditions. Austria’s capital Vienna has been ranked as the world’s most liveable city, displacing Australian city of Melbourne.
Delhi and Mumbai were the only two Indian cities that featured in the EIU’s annual index. Delhi was ranked at 112th position and Mumbai fetched 117th spot. The rankings of both Delhi and Mumbai have slipped by two places this year even as their liveability score remained unchanged due to improvements made by other cities.
Supreme Court approves colour coding of vehicles as per fuel type
The Supreme Court on August 13, 2018 approved a proposal to have hologram-based coloured stickers on vehicles which would indicate the nature of fuel being used in Delhi- National Capital Region (NCR). The proposal was made by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
The apex court ruling allows for blue stickers to be used for vehicles running on petrol and CNG, and orange stickers for diesel vehicles. The colour coding will help authorities identify vehicles running on high-polluting fuel from specified routes on particular days.
Former Indian cricket captain Ajit Wadekar passes away
Former Indian cricket captain Ajit Wadekar passed away on August 15, 2018 after a prolonged illness. He was 77.
In a side that included cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, G Viswanath and Bishan Singh Bedi, Wadekar took over the captaincy from M A K Pataudi in 1971. He led team India to their first overseas Test wins in England and the West Indies in 1971.
He was also India’s first ODI captain. Though, he appeared in just two matches.
SC directs Assam NRC coordinator to submit data of excluded people
The Supreme Court on August 16, 2018 asked the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator to submit the data of district-wise percentage of the population excluded from the NRC draft in the state.
The bench directed the state NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela to make the copies of draft NRC available at all panchayat offices so that public can access it easily. The apex court said that the claim and objection forms on the Assam NRC issue will be made available to the general public from August 20.
Nandula Raghuram elected as Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative
Indian scientist and academician Nandula Raghuram was on August 13, 2018 elected as the Chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), a global policy making initiative. With this appointment, Raghuram becomes the first Indian and Asian to be elected to the Chair of INI.
On the other hand, the Vice-Chair elect is David Kanter of the New York University. This position has been created recently. Kanter is an expert in the role of nitrous oxide and nitrogen policy evaluation. He recently led the nitrogen side event at the 2018 meeting of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.