Lok Sabha passes bill criminalising Instant Triple Talaq
Lok Sabha on 28 December 2017 passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017. The Bill criminalises the practice of instant triple talaq among Muslims.
The bill was introduced by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the lower house on 28 December 2017 in the wake of the August 2017 ruling of Supreme Court declaring instant triple talaq practice as "null and void", unconstitutional and arbitrary.
The Bill makes instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat illegal and void, be it in any form- spoken form, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp or in any other manner whatsoever.
India successfully test-fires AAD Supersonic Interceptor Missile
India on 28 December 2017 successfully test-fired indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile from a test range in Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
This Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) directly hit the target at an altitude of about 15 kilometre and destroyed it into fragments.
This was the third supersonic interceptor test that took place in the year 2017. The earlier two tests were conducted on 11 February and 1 March as part of attempts to have a full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.
India signs USD 40 Million Loan Agreement with World Bank for UP Tourism
India on 28 December 2017 signed a USD 40 Million Loan Agreement with the World Bank for 'Uttar Pradesh (UP) Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project'.
The loan agreement was signed today by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs and John Blomquist, Acting Country Director of the World Bank (India).
The total cost of the project is approximately USD 57.14 million, of which USD 40 million will be financed by the World Bank as IBRD Credit. The remaining amount will be funded out of Uttar Pradesh Budget.
The USD 40 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5 year grace period and a maturity of 19 years.
Nepal rejects India’s offer to jointly re-measure Mt Everest
Nepal has rejected India’s offer to jointly re-measure the height of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, following the massive earthquake in 2015 and will carry out the measurement exercise on its own.
However, the Nepal will seek help from China and India for receiving crucial data and information for this exercise.
Earlier too, China had measured Mt Everest in 1975 and 2005 while Indian surveyors had measured Mt Everest in a similar mission in 1956. The Surveyor General of India (SGI) had also measured the Everest during the British era.
The Survey of India, a 250-year-old institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), proposed re-measuring of Mt Everest as an ‘Indo-Nepal Joint Scientific Exercise’.
Parliament approves extension of deadline for protection of illegal structures in Delhi
The Parliament on 28 December 2017 gave its approval to the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017, after Rajya Sabha passed it with a voice vote.
The bill was previously passed by the Parliament’s lower house, Lok Sabha on 27 December and by the Union Cabinet last week. It was introduced in the lower House by the Housing and Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri who stated that if the bill was not passed, the national capital would witness unprecedented chaos.
The bill mainly seeks to extend the deadline of a law to protect slums, unauthorised colonies and illegal structures in the national capital from penal action for a period of three years, from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020.