Women should not just strive to equal men but go far ahead of them,
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
This comes just a day after a written note of the government,
represented by Mr. Mehta, in the Supreme Court, cast doubts about women
officers matching up to men in physical prowess and their ability to take
command posts in the Army.
The Bench said a will and a change of mindset on the part of the
government would definitely see women officers rise to command posts in the
Army. There were many services in addition to combat posts.
Besides, the note stated, the “composition of rank and file being male
predominantly drawn from the rural background with prevailing societal
norms, troops are not yet mentally schooled to accept women officers in
command of units”.
Army units were a “unique all-male environment”. Presence of women
officers would require “moderated behaviour”, the note said. Thus, the
posting of women officers in all-male units had its own “peculiar dynamics”,
CPCB pulls up thermal power plants for non-compliance
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has pulled up 14 thermal
power plants for not complying with a December 31, 2019 deadline to limit
sulphur dioxide emissions.
These are 5 plants in Haryana, 3 in Punjab, 2 in Uttar Pradesh, 2 in
Andhra Pradesh, 2 in Telangana and 1 in Tamil Nadu with a total capacity of
approx 15 GW that have missed the deadline.
To limit particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide
emission from thermal plants, India put in place a phased-approach that
directs 440 coal-fired units — responsible for about 166,000 MW of power —
to put in place measures to limit pollution by December 2022.
However, 11 plants in a 300 km radius of Delhi were to comply by
December 31, 2019 because of the poor air quality in the city as well as the
surrounding Gangetic plain.
Non-compliance by the thermal power plants is an on going dispute being
contested at the National Green Tribunal through a petition filed in April
The CPCB has the power to impose steep fines or shut a unit under the
provisions of the Environment Protection Act. As per Centre for Science and
Environment (CSE) estimates, these norms can help reduce PM emissions by
about 35%, nitrogen oxide emissions by about 70%, and sulphur dioxide
emissions by more than 85% by 2026-27 against a business-as-usual scenario
with no pollution control technologies.
RBI to put cooperative banks under its purview
In the wake of the recent Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank
crisis, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the Banking
Regulation Act to bring 1,540 cooperative banks under the Reserve Bank of
India (RBI) regulation.
Cooperative banks have 8.6 lakh account holders, with a total deposit of
about ₹5 lakh crore.
Qualifications would be laid down for appointments, including that of
Chief Executive Officers. Prior permission from the RBI would be required
for the appointment of key positions. The regulator would deal with issues
such as loan waivers.
The RBI would also have powers to supersede the board of any cooperative
bank in financial distress.
The proposed amendments, along with the government’s decision to
increase the insurance cover on bank deposits from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh, have
been brought to strengthen the financial stability of cooperative banks and
boost public confidence in the banking system.
In the PMC Bank case, the RBI had to step in last year after massive
irregularities in its loan accounts were detected. The regulator had to
place a withdrawal limit for account holders, which led to a major public
strife and protests by them.
Agriculture ministry claims distribution of 22 crore soil health cards
More than 22 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed to farmers
till date. The Soil Health Card scheme was launched by the government in
2015 with a view to address the decline of soil nutrients.
Agriculture Ministry has said that in the first phase between 2015 to
2017 over 10 crore cards were distributed, while in the second phase over 11
crore 50 lakhs cards have been given away from 2017 to 2019.
The Ministry said, this card has enabled the farmers to understand the
soil health parameters and improve its productivity by judicious application
of soil nutrients.
The scheme also provides for the analysis of soil composition by the
State Governments once in every two years so that remedial steps can be
taken to improve soil nutrients.Farmers can track their soil samples and
also obtain their Soil Health Card report.
The United States President Donald Trump has been acquitted of all
impeachment charges. The US Senate has acquitted President Trump on two
articles of impeachment that are- abuse of power and obstruction to
The Republican-majority Senate voted 52-48 to acquit him of abuse of
power and 53-47 to acquit him of obstruction of Congress. Democrats required
two-thirds of votes in the 100-member House to impeach the president. The
ruling Republican party has 53 seats while the Democrats have 47.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who was the party's presidential nominee
in 2012, voted against the president on the first charge, but followed the
party line on the second article of impeachment.
Rest of the members voted on party lines. Trump announced on Twitter
that he will make a public statement on the matter today.
Syrian troops capture key rebel town
Syrian government troops have captured a key opposition town despite
threats by Turkey's president to use force if they don't pull back by the
end of the month.
The town, Saraqeb, sits at the intersection of two major highways, one
linking the Syrian capital of Damascus to the north region and another
connecting the country' west and east areas.
Syrian forces have been fighting to open the Damascus-Aleppo highway,
which rebels have kept shut down since 2012. Saraqeb is the last major
rebel-held town in their way.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and an opposition
news network said that Syrian government troops entered Saraqeb after an
intense day of fighting, during which several Turkish observation posts were
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
PM sets defence export target of $5billion in 5 years
Prime Minister NarendraModi has said that his government has set a
defence export target of 5 billion dollars in the next five years.
Mr Modi said, our mantra is Make in India, for India, for world. The
eleventh edition of the mega defence event is being held in Lucknow with the
theme "India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub". The five-day DefExpo
- India's biennial exhibition of military platforms and weapons - is being
attended by 38 defence ministers and top executives of 172 foreign defence
majors and 856 Indian companies.
Prime Minister invited global defence majors to set up their
manufacturing units in India. Mr Modi said, there is an infinite opportunity
in defence manufacturing in India. He said, there is demand, democracy and
decisiveness in India. Prime Minister said, India also offers talent,
infrastructure, favourable policy initiative and security of investment.
Mr Modi said, lack of proper policy initiatives in the last several
decades has made India the biggest importer of defence platforms. Prime
Minister said, his government has taken a series of policy initiatives to
cut the country's dependence on arms imports and promote domestic
production. Mr Modi said, India is significantly boosting its military might
and even increasing presence in outer space responsibly.
Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister Rajanath Singh said that the
creation of two defence corridors in India is a result of prime minister's
vision of leading India to become a technological powerhouse. He said that
the nation will benefit from the defence industrial ecosystem being setup
and developed using cluster development.
Indian women beat New Zealand in hockey
In Women's Hockey, India drew curtains on the New Zealand tour on a
bright note with striker NavneetKaur scoring a brace to guide the Indian
team to a convincing 3-0 win over New Zealand.
In the last game of its five-match tour in Auckland today, Navneet
scored in the 45th and 58th minutes, while Sharmila scored a field goal in
the 54th minute.
India began the tour by thrashing New Zealand Development squad 4-0
before suffering close 1-2 and 0-1 defeats to the home senior team.