Latest Current Affairs Today – 17th March 2016


Read about the real estate bill cleared by the Lok Sabha, the new chairperson of the Law commission of India, the safeguarding of Steel imports recommended by the finance ministry and more …..

1) Lok Sabha clears Real Estate Bill as passed by Rajya Sabha :


  • Lok Sabha today approved the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016. The bill seeks to create a set of rights and obligations for both the consumers and developers and encourage both of them to live up to the expectations of each other as per the agreement entered into by both of them.
  • Moving the Bill pending in Lok Sabha after it got passed in Rajya Sabha on March 6, Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified the position on the issues such as how the Bill will be applicable to existing projects; the Rules on setting aside 70% of customer advances in an escrow account; compulsory approvals prior to project launches, and payment of similar interest rate to customers as charged from them for delays will impact launches and increase compliance costs.

More Details:

  • Shri Naidu has said that with a target is to ensure that all required approvals are given in about a month’s time, he held 7 high level meetings with the Ministers of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Civil Aviation, Defence, Consumer Affairs, and Culture for streamlining such approvals.
  • All these ministries as a result have taken significant measures to ensure online and timely approvals. Single window approval system is being developed to standardize and settle timelines for approvals and use of IT & GIS for automation of such systems, setting up nodal agency & empowered committees, Shri Naidu added.


2) Dr. Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan appointed as chairperson of the Law Commission of India:



  • Former Supreme Court judge Balbir Singh Chauhan has been appointed Chairman of the 21st Law Commission, a post lying vacant since last September
  • The term of the 20th Law Commission ended on August 30 last year and the Union Cabinet approved creation of the 21st Law Commission on September 9. The Law Ministry brought out a notification to create the 21st law panel on September 14 last.
  • Justice Ravi R Tripathi (62), a former judge of the Gujarat High Court, has been appointed as member of the law panel. He retired as judge last May.

More Details:

  • Justice Chauhan (66) is currently heading the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal.
  • The term of the 20th Law Commission ended on August 30 last year and the Union Cabinet approved creation of the 21st Law Commission on September 9. The Law Ministry brought out a notification to create the 21st law panel on September 14 last.
  • The Commission is reconstituted every three years and is usually headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or former Chief Justice of a high court.


3) Bihar govt to link schemes with Aadhaar to avail benefits.



  • The Bihar government on Tuesday announced in the state legislative Assembly that government’s schemes will be linked with Aadhaar card in order to avail the benefits of the schemes.
  • Out of Bihar’s 10.40 crore total population, 6.63 crore have been registered under Aadhaar scheme, he said.
  • Advocating for a uniform wage under MGNREGA scheme, Kumar said the state government pays Rs 177 as minimum wage to a labourer, whereas the Centre gives Rs 162 for this. The state government was giving an additional Rs 15 to the labourers from its coffers.
  • The minister said he has requested the Centre to revise the minimum wage under MGNREGA to Rs 189.

More Details:

  • As per the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data, there were around 90 lakh people who were homeless, Kumar said while questioning the Centre’s ambitious move to provide housing for all by 2022.
  • The Centre’s target to provide housing to all does not match with the allotment made to Bihar, Kumar said adding the Government would either have to increase its allotment to Bihar for housing scheme or it would have to extend its time-frame.
  • The allotment for first two years was of UPA regime, while the last two years were of NDA regime, he said adding Rs 2534.81 crore of IAY between 2011-12 to 2015-16 was still pending with the Centre.


4) Modi finds a place in Madame Tussauds :


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the ranks of prominent global leaders at Madame Tussauds in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok next month, the world famous wax museum announced on Wednesday.
  • Describing him as a “hugely important figure in world politics”, the museum said the Indian Prime Minister had given the museum’s team of artists and experts a sitting at his residence in New Delhi earlier this year.
  • The wax figures at each of the museum’s locations around Europe and Asia will be dressed in Mr. Modi’s “signature kurta” in cream with a jacket and he will be featured in a traditional pose “making a namaste gesture”.

More Details:

  • Each figure took a team of Madame Tussauds’ artists four months and cost around 150,000 pounds to create.
  • “Guests will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder and measure up to one of the most powerful men in the world — and even grab a selfie when the figures arrive in their locations,” the museum said.
  • The launch in London and all other centres is expected around late April and it is yet to be confirmed if Modi would be personally unveiling himself in wax at any of the four locations.
  • A new branch of Madame Tussauds is also set to open in New Delhi as part of the India-UK Year of Culture in 2017, announced during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK last November.


5) Finance ministry division recommends safeguard duties on some steel imports until 2018.


  • A division of India’s finance ministry has recommended safeguard duties of up to 20 percent on some hot-rolled flat steel products, a government document showed on Wednesday.
  • The Director General of Safeguards said the steel industry was in need of “further protection” from cheap imports, and the imposition of safeguard duty would be in the public interest.
  • MIPs are valid for six months only, which could trigger uncertainty in the market. But a government official said these may be extended further.

More Details:

  • On September 14 last year, the government imposed a 20 per cent provisional safeguard duty for 200 days on the import of hot-rolled flat products in coils of a width of 600 mm or more.
  • Moreover, on December 11 last year, the government imposed anti-dumping duty ranging from 5 to 57 per cent on cold-rolled flat products of stainless steel for a period of five years. The duty was imposed on imports from China, South Korea, European Union, the US, South Africa, Thailand and Taiwan.
  • Steel companies had witnessed poor earnings in the December quarter as realisations took a hard hit because of increased imports despite a five per cent increase in domestic demand. “With this measure now, domestic steel producers should be able to grab some share in the increasing domestic demand, from which we were completely off due to cheap imports,” Uppal said.

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