Delhi Assembly passes Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015
i. The Delhi Assembly has unanimously passed the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 for establishment of statutory anti-corruption ombudsman.
ii. The Bill provides powers to Lokpal to act against any government functionary including those of the Centre and in the national capital territory (NCT) of Delhi through its own investigation wing.
Key provisions of Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 Composition:
- Janlokpal will be a three member body with Chairperson and two members. They would be appointed by on recommendation of selection committee consisting of Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly.
- Jurisdiction: On receiving corruption complaints from the government or from members of public Janlokpal is empowered to investigate an allegation of corruption in the NCT including the Chief Minister’s office.
China 1st manned electric aircraft gets licence for production
i. China has granted a license for production of first manned two seater electric aircraft RX1E known as RX1E by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
ii. The aircraft has been designed by Shenyang Aerospace University and Liaoning General Aviation Academy in northeastern Liaoning province.
- RX1E electric light-sport aircraft and it is China’s first manned electric light aircraft. This plane is powered by lithium batteries and is capable of flying a maximum altitude of 3000 meters.
- The plane has a 47-foot wingspan and has a charging time of 90 minutes enables it to fly for 45 to 60 minutes.
- The plane can take the maximum takeoff weight of 480 kg.
India's forest & tree cover increased by 5,081 sq km: ISFR 2015
i. According to the recently released India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2015, India’s forest and tree cover has been increased by 5081 Square kilometre.
ii. The report was released by the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.
South Western Railway Zones introduces Biodiesel for trains
i.The South Western Railways (SWR) Zone with headquarters in Hubli, Karnataka has introduced biodiesel for trains, operating under its zone.
ii. In this regard, SWR’s first train Hubballi-Bengaluru Janshatabdi Express powered by five per cent biodiesel blended with High Speed Diesel was flagged off from Hubli.
iii. The main aim of the initiative is to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission and carbon footprint and also to make fuel consumption more efficient.
iv. To meet its biodiesel demand, SWR zone has set up Biodiesel filling centres at Hubli, Bengaluru and Hospet. In next one year all the 13 railway depots within the zone will have their own filling units and the biodiesel blending will be gradually increased to ten percent.
CEA Dr Arvind Subramanian Committee suggests GST rate of 17-18%
i. Chief Economic Advisor Dr Arvind Subramanian led Committee has recommended standard rate for Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 17 to 18 per cent.
ii. The Committee has submitted its report to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.
Recommendations of Dr Arvind Subramanian Committee
- Standard GST rate of 17 to 18 per cent. It is the rate at which most products would likely be taxed. Not to specify GST rate in Constitutional Amendment Bill.
- Revenue-neutral rate of 15 to 15.5 per cent. It is a single rate at which there will be no revenue loss to the centre and states in the GST regime. Eliminate all taxes on inter-state trade including one per cent inter-state tax on transfer of goods.
- Two options for states: Single rate of 1 per cent or a range of 17-18 per cent. Allocation to states will depend on revenues raised by Centre and states. Three-tier GST rate structure: Essential goods will be taxed at a lower rate of 12 per cent.
i. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country to start Rotavirus vaccination project under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
ii. The project was launched by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh from Dharamsala in district Kangra by administering the Rotavirus vaccine drops to the children aged less than 5 years.
iii. Rotavirus vaccination project is based on the analogy of the polio vaccine. Under it Rotavirus drops would be administered to the children at 6, 10 and 14 weeks after birth. The vaccination project will help in controlling the deaths amongst small children due to Diarrhoea.
Uttar Pradesh Govt launches 1st Intrnational festival on Birds
i. Uttar Pradesh Government has launched International festival on Birds in a bid to promote state as an international bird-watching destination.
ii. The first-of-its-kind festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at the National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS). It has been jointly organised by the State Forest department in collaboration with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
iii. The three-day international festival (from 4 to 6 December 2015) on birds will be held the National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS) in Agra. Over 80 Indian ornithlogists and around 25 top international bird experts and are participating in the first-of-its-kind festival.
Australia passes Anti-Terrorism Law to strip citizenship
i. Australia’s Federal Parliament has passed Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill, 2015 to strip citizenship of convicted persons on terrorism charges.
ii. The new legislation allows government to strip dual nationals of their citizenship if they are convicted of terrorism offences.
iii. Those who are found to have fought for banned terrorist group overseas, their citizenship will be automatically terminated.