1. A regional project on ‘Climate Resilience Building among Farmers through Crop Residue Management’ under National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) was approved by the Environment Ministry. The project aims to mitigate climate change impacts and enhance adaptive capacity and counter adverse environmental impacts arising from stubble burning. The first phase of the project was approved for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan at cost of approximately Rs. 100 crore. The project was approved at meeting of National Steering Committee on Climate Change (NSCCC) held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Secretary, Environment Ministry.
2. The loan agreement of $40 Million IBRD Credit for “Uttar Pradesh Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project” was inked by the Union Government with the World Bank. The objective of UP Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project is to increase tourism-related benefits for local communities in targeted destinations. These main tourist and pilgrimage attractions are Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Govardhan in Braj region.
3. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to classify gaming disorder as a mental health condition in its forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is due to be published in 2018.
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5. Amardeep Singh Bhatia (Senior IAS officer of 1993 batch, Nagaland Cadre) was appointed as new director of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). Presently, he is joint secretary in Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The SFIO is involved in major fraud probes and is the co-ordinating agency with the Income Tax Department and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI. The SFIO is a fraud investigating agency in India, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
6. The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill 2017. The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form (text message, email etc) to be void and illegal i.e. not enforceable in law. It refers Talaq-e-biddat to practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by Muslim husband to his wife results in instant and irrevocable divorce. It makes declaration of talaq a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Moreover, if Muslim husband declaring triple talaq can be imprisoned for up to 3 years along with a fine.
7. Indigenously developed Prithvi Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile was successfully test-fired from a test range in Odisha. It is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile in low altitude. This was the third supersonic interceptor test of missile carried out this year in which an incoming ballistic missile target was successfully intercepted, within 30 km altitude of the earth’s atmosphere. The earlier two tests were conducted on February 11 and March 1 2017, as part of efforts to have full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.
8. National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Amendment Bill, 2017 was passed by the Parliament. It seeks to amend National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011. The Bill extends deadline for relocating slum dwellers and Jhuggi-Jhopri clusters, regulating street vendors, regularising unauthorised colonies, village abadi areas in NCT Delhi and calls for creating policy for farm houses constructed beyond permissible limits.
9. The Parliament has passed a bill seeking to extend the deadline of a law to protect slums, unauthorized colonies and illegal structures in the national capital from penal action for a period of three years from 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2020.
10. 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, Nepal will seek help from China and India for receiving crucial data and information for this exercise.
11. China has successfully tested the roads with solar panels with the presence of built-in wireless charging systems for electric vehicles and other sensors for drones. China achieved this feat of having first photovoltaic highway based on home-grown technology, in the country’s eastern Shandong province.
12. The United Nations Security Council has denied International Port access to four North Korean Ships suspected of carrying or having transported goods banned by International sanctions targeting Pyongyang.
13. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha. The bill prohibits certain persons from submitting a resolution plan in case of defaults. These are i) wilful defaulters ii) promoters or management of the company having non-performing debt for over a year iii) disqualified directors, among others.
14. CM of Assam, Sarbanada Sonowal has launched skill development training centres across the state in a programme organized by the Department of Skill, Employment and Entrepreneurship in Guwahati under Skill India programme.