- Special cells to monitor rainwater harvesting
- Based on the directions of the ministry of housing and urban affairs, Rajasthan will constitute rainwater harvesting cells in 111 cities and towns across 29 districts for effective monitoring.
- According to the guidelines, the cell will monitor the extent of groundwater extraction and aquifer recharge. This information will be displayed at prominent locations for public awareness.
- Other than government buildings, the cell will check group housing societies to find out RWH structures. In case such structures are absent, resident welfare associations (RWAs) will be persuaded for its development. Urban public spaces such as concrete footpaths and walkways in parks are severely impacting natural water percolation.
- Facebook slapped with 5 billion US Dollar fine for users’ privacy violation
- US regulators formalized a record 5 billion US Dollar fine on Facebook for violation of users’ privacy in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the penalty was the largest ever imposed on any company for violating consumers’ privacy and one of the largest penalties ever assessed by the US government for any violation.
- The FTC initiated the investigation after a scandal involving former British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which was accused of illegally accessing data of more than 87 million Facebook users without their prior knowledge.
- MoHUA proposes light urban rail Metrolite for smaller cities
- The Centre has proposed light urban rail transit system – ‘Metrolite’ It is found in small cities and towns having lower projection of ridership.Each train having three coaches and a restricted speed of 25 kmph.
- Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry issued standard specifications of the ‘Metrolite’ system .The system will be developed on surface and elevated stretches.The ‘Metrolite’, can be developed at a lower cost in comparison with
existing metro system, will also act as a feeder system to high capacity Metro.
- The three-coach train will have the capacity of carrying 300 passengers.The government would provide financial assistance to states to implement the light urban rail transit system.
- The ‘Metrolite’ systemhave a dedicated path separating the road traffic with it. The fencing can be provided on either side of the network.
The metro rail system being developed at present is of high capacity. It is required for bigger cities with very high ridership.
- The success of the existing metro system, several small cities, and towns on rail-based mass rapid transit system fulfilled by the light urban rail transit system.
The ‘Metrolite’ systemwill have shelter platforms. They will not have AFC gates, platform screen doors, X-ray and baggage scanner.
- Lok Sabha passed the 2019 Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill
- Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019. The Bill was introduced by the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The bill is for the justice, respect and dignity of women.
- The Bill criminalises instant triple talaqamong Muslims. It also approves a jail term of three years for the husband.
- The bill will replace the ordinance passed by the previous government in February. It should be noted that around20 Muslim countries in the world, including Pakistan and Malaysia, have banned the triple talaq.
- The Companies Amendment Bill, 2019 introduced in Lok Sabha
- The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been introduced inLok Sabha . The Bill was introduced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
- 16 of the offencesthat are punishable with fine or imprisonment, or both has been recategorised as it empowers the adjudicating officers, who are appointed by the central government, may now levy penalties instead.
- The ordinance prohibits a company from issuing shares at a discount, except in certain cases.
- It also says that a company can not commence business unless it files a declarationwithin 180 days of incorporation or files a verification of its registered office within 30 days of incorporation.
- The companies mustregister charges such as mortgages on its property within 30 days of creation of charge.
- Lok Sabha cleared the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- Lok Sabhacleared theUnlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019.The Bill aims to end
- The Bill will now empower the government to designate individuals as terrorists. If any person commits or participates in acts of terrorism or involved in terrorist, he/she can be designated as terrorist.
- The Director-General of theNational Investigation Agency (NIA) can now grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the agency.
- The amendments to the Bill was opposed saying that the legislationviolates Article 21 and also lacks judicial review. Also, the opposition said that the intent of the Bill will be used to just detain people in jail and deny them a trial. The Bill was also termed as anti-federalism and anti-people.
- Indias first Dragon blood-oozing Tree discovered in Assam
- Researcher discovers Dracaena Cambodia A dragon tree species in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong district.
- It is a plant that yields a dragon’s blood.It is a bright red resin used in ancient times as a medicine, body oil, varnish, incense, and dye. The sap turns bright red after coming in contact with air.This is for the first time that a dragon tree species reported from India. In India, the Dracaena genus belonging to the family Asparagaceae It is represented by nine species and two varieties in the Himalayan region, the northeast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Dracaena cambodiana is the only true dragon tree species. It is an important medicinal plant as well as an ornamental tree.It is a major source of dragon’s blood, a precious traditional medicine in China.Several antifungal and antibacterial compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids.