Monday, October 27, 2014

16 Oct Newspaper Notes - Hudhud Devastation, Norway India Bilateral deals, Malala Memoir, Cosmetic Testing Ban,CLPRA Amendment Bill


1. Hudhud causes major damage to all major Industrial units in Vishakhapatnam.
2. The international airport in Vishakhapatnam has to shut commercial operations for some time. 
3. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd., the corporate identity of the Vishakhapatnam Steel plant was hit hard by grid failure, has shut down operations. 
4. Hull shop and other infrastructure of Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., a Defence Ministry Enterprise were blown away.
5. Communication installations were uprooted. Landline and Mobile phone both were dead. 
6. The Vishakhapatnam and Gangavaram ports which together handle 85 million tones, have suspended operations.
7. NTPC Simhadri Super Thermal Power Station has shut down the 2000 MW Parawada unit. 
8. HPCL Visakha refinery, with a capacity  of 8.5 million tones has also suspended operations.
9. Rs 1000 cr interim assistance to Andhra Pradesh announced by Mr. Narendra Modi (PM). 

2. Malala’s memoir to be translated into four Indian languages – Kannada, Tamil, Malaya-lam, Marathi.

(a) Provisional UNICEF data says that the proportion of under weight children might have declined from 45.1 percent in 2005-06 to a historic low of 30.7 percent in 2013-14
(b) India’s hunger status has been changed from “alarming to serious”, in the International Food policy research institute (IFPRI) (Global Hunger Index)
(c) IFPRI credits the Govt. for –
(i) Integrated Child Development Services along with better monitoring by a Supreme Court appointed Committee
(ii) National Rural Health Mission
(iii) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
(iv) Strengthening the implementation of Public Delivery Systems for subsidized grain. 
Some facts – 
(a) India has highest number of underweight children under five in the world and 70% of children are anaemic.
(b) Proportion of under nourished people in overall population has fallen from 21.5% in 2004-06 to 17% in 2011-13 according to IFPRI estimates.
(c) Globally 2 billion people are suffering from hidden hunger which is a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in their diet. 

3. Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks tea producing states to ensure minimum wages for workers particularly Assam (responsible for 50% tea production) and West Bengal (responsible for 25% tea production). 

4. Jammu and Kashmir Police Inspector Shakti Devi being honoured with the International Female Police Peace Keeper Award 2014 in Winnipeg, Canada for her exceptional achievements while serving with the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan. 

5. Read about the recent Vodafone case in which Bombay High Court ruled that Vodafone is not liable to pay an income tax demand of Rs. 3200 crore in a case relating to transfer pricing. 

6. WPI inflation dropped to a new 5 year low in September 2014 to 2.38% helped by moderation in food and fuel prices. Corresponding figures in August and Sep 2013 were 3.74% to 7.05%. Retail inflation to a record low of 6.46% in September 2014. 

7. Norway (OSLO) and India sign thirteen agreements – 

(a) Statement of Intent between DRDO and Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
(b) Setting up of State of the Art fish farming unit outside Delhi. 
(c) IIT Kanpur, Hyderabad University and other educational institutions reaching accords with their Norwegian counterparts. 

8. The All India Whips conference seeks codification of privileges to be considered by Parliament and state Legislatures (study why?)

9. Few months back India imposed a ban on cruel cosmetic testing in Indian laboratories. 

Now Rule 135-B states that – (No Cosmetics that have been tested on animals after the commencement of Drugs and Cosmetic (fifth Amendment Rules) 2014, shall be imported into the country). The notification is to come into effect on 13th November 2014

Important Note- What is Cosmetic testing on animals?

Cosmetic testing on animals means that these cosmetic before being launched in the market for human use are tested on animals so that their harmful, useful or allergic effects can be assessed. This activity has caused huge amount of damage to animals thereby triggering a reaction from animal right activists. 

10. Bill to be introduced in Indian Parliament for total ban on child labour.

Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation Amendment (CLPRA) Bill, to be taken up in winter session of the Parliament which has been pending since December 2012.

Amendments proposed are – 

(a) Ban employment of children below 14 years in any occupation. This provision will bring this law in accord with “Right of Children to Free and Commentary Education Act 2009”. 
(b) Employment of all in the age group of 14-18 would be prohibited in hazardous occupations.
(c) This amendment bill would regulate the work conditions of adolescents.
(d) This amendment bill would regulate the working conditions of children employed in audio visual entertainment industry. 
(e) Supreme Court in 1996 had imposed a fine of Rs. 20000 on the employer and a fine of Rs. 5000 on the state Government if any child worker was rescued from their domain. Whole of this clause would be converted into a law with the exception that the fine amount would be revised as per the price rise factor
(f) The recommendation of the standing committee on Labour and Employment under D.S. Chauhan was that the Bill should provide proper details for regulation for prescribing the condition employment of children. These are – 

1. On what criteria should the wages be disbursed.
2. Hours of work
3.Dispute Settlement. 

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