Supreme court panel to look into condition of jails in the country
Justice MadanLokur and Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal sparred on
whether the Supreme Court’s orders on PIL pleas, such as those on better
facilities for undertrial prisoners, amounted to unreasonable expenditure on
the public exchequer.
The court was examining ways to end the over-crowding of prisons and
condition of undertrial prisoners languishing in jails. It also wanted to
set up a committee to look into the conditions in prisons.
Over 30 thousand crore rupees were collected for the benefit of building
and construction workers but the money is spent in buying washing machines.
The court said it could not abandon its duty to protect the citizens’
fundamental right to life and dignity. Justice Lokur said the court and the
government were not adversaries.
Attorney general Mr.Venugopal said the efforts of the court has been
“tremendous” over the past years. The court then ordered setting up of a
committee to be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge and assisted by “two
or three other officers” to look into the issues of prison conditions.
NITI Aayog and CII Launch Partnership on SDGs
CII-NITI Aayoghave entered into a three-year partnership and an MoU was
signed. This partnership focuses on specific activities that seeks to
develop: 1. Vision and Action Agenda for businesses and industries to
contribute to SDGs; 2. Annual Status Reports; 3. Sector-specific Best
The Minister said that in sustainable development three things matter
the most: energy, water and circular economy/green industry. To action his
2022 agenda, he expressed confidence that India will achieve its clean
energy goals even earlier than 2022 and urged everyone to be conscious and
responsible towards the environment.
CII launched the report—Indian Solutions for the World to Achieve SDGs.
The report deep-dives into each of the SDGs, targets and business
implications thereof. The report cites examples that illustrate how
companies have incorporated the SDGs framework into their business strategy
and gone about achieving them.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator,
said that ‘conditions in India are favourable due to its nature, history and
demography, to come up with solutions towards a sustainable and circular
economy for the world to emulate.’
Gem ( govt.e-market place ) completes 2 years
Government e-Marketplace (GeM),the National Public Procurement
Portal,will turn 2 years old tomorrow.It was launched on 9th August 2016,
with the objective of creating an open, transparent and efficient
procurement platform for government.Over its short journey, GeM has achieved
many significant milestones.
GeM has grossed over Rs. 10,000 Crores in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)
through more than 6.16 Lacs transactions on the platform.These products and
services are being bought by over 25,000 government organisations (Central,
State Governments and PSUs) registered on the platform.
MoUs have been signed with 8 banks for payment integration (State GeM
Pool Account-SGPA, Electronic Performance Bank Guarantee-ePBG, Electronic
Earnest Money Deposit-eEMD) to facilitate a cashless contactless and
paperless payments system on the platform.
Integration with Quality Council of India ( QCI) for ensuring quality
compliances of the products and services offered through GeM.
Commerce & Industry Ministry launches Mobile App NiryatMitra
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Aviation Suresh Prabhu
launched NiryatMitra – mobile App in New Delhi today. The app developed by
the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is available both on
Android and on IOS platforms.
It provides wide range of information required to undertake
international trade right from the policy provisions for export and import,
applicable GST rate, available export incentives, tariff, preferential
tariff, market access requirements – SPS and TBT measures.
The app works internally to map the ITC HS code of other countries with
that of India and provides all the required data without the users bothering
about the HS code of any country. Presently the app comes with the data of
The Minister further stated that the app will provide big opportunity to
everybody and help promote export interests in the country. He invited the
industry to make the most of the app and take to exports.
He also said the Human Resource tool of the app enables candidates with
interest in the international trade sector to register and apply against the
vacancies arising in the sector. Companies can also search the profiles of
the candidates and engage them.
Zimbabwe opposition party to move court to overturn election results
Zimbabwe’s MDC Opposition party on Wednesday vowed to overturn in court
President EmmersonMnangagwa’s narrow election victory, alleging that he won
the vote via “mammoth theft and fraud”.
The MDC has until Friday to lodge its suit after Mr.Mnangagwa won 50.8%
in last week’s vote, just scraping in above the 50% run-off threshold.
The Constitutional Court must rule on the petition within 14 days,
delaying Mr.Mnangagwa’s planned inauguration.
Also, Senior MDC figure TendaiBiti was arrested as he tried to flee to
neighbouring Zambia to seek asylum early on Wednesday, his lawyer said,
allegedly on charges of inciting violence over the disputed vote count.
Mr.Biti last week claimed victory for the MDC, triggering celebrations
the day before soldiers opened fire on MDC protesters and before the final
presidential results were announced.
Foreign secretary in U.S ahead of 2+2 talks
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale arrived in the American capital on
Wednesday for talks with senior U.S. officials ahead of the first India-U.S.
2+2 dialogue in Delhi in September.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis are
scheduled to travel to India for the 2+2 dialogue with their Indian
counterparts, External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj and Defence Minister
Both sides are encouraged by the buoyancy in bilateral ties in the last
two weeks, soon after the postponement of the 2+2 dialogue that was
scheduled for the first week of July in Washington.
India has been granted the Strategic Trade Authorisation, or STA-1,
status that placed it with a group of 36 countries, mostly NATO allies.
Japan and South Korea are the only Asian countries in this group. The status
allows for sale of more sensitive technologies to India than was earlier
permitted. Indian Navy also participated in the Rim of Pacific Multinational
Naval exercise last week.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Curiosity completes 6 years in Mars
NASA’s Curiosity rover — a mission that has spotted evidence of liquid
water as well as potential signs life and habitability on Mars, has
completed six years on the red planet.
The Mars Science Laboratory mission’s Curiosity rover landed on the red
planet’s Gale Crater on August 6 2012, using a series of complicated landing
manoeuvres never before attempted. Curiosity’s mission is to determine
whether the red planet ever was, or is, habitable to microbial life.
The specialised landing sequence, which employed a giant parachute, a
jet-controlled descent vehicle and a bungee-like apparatus called a “sky
crane,” was devised because tested landing techniques used during previous
rover missions could not safely accommodate the much larger and heavier
In 2015, organic molecules — the building blocks of life — were
discovered on Mars after a long search by the Sample Analysis at Mars
instrument in a powdered rock sample from the “Sheepbed” mudstone in
Indian U-16 team maintains winning streak
The Indian under-16 national football team maintained its winning
streak, defeating Yemen 3-0 in the five-nation WAFF u-16 football
championship at Amman.
After central defender Harpreet Singh headed in the first goal in the
37th minute, two goals in two minutes immediately after resumption took the
issue beyond Yemen’s reach.