Read about the new Election law bill tabled in the Lok Sabha , the plane which disappeared mid air, India’s 1st 100% organic state and more …
1) Election Laws (Amendment) Bill introduced in Lok Sabha:
- A bill to amend two electoral laws to allow a limited delimitation exercise in West Bengal for granting voting rights to people who became Indian citizens following the exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.
- The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016, introduced by Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, seeks to amend Section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
- As the term of the 294-member West Bengal Assembly ends on May 29 and elections are likely to be held before that, there is a need for early passage of the bill.
- Once passed, the proposed Bill will enable the Election Commission to carry out a limited delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal following the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi and 111 Indian enclaves in July last year.
- The enclaves were exchanged pursuant to the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and 2011 Protocol and Instruments of Ratification during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh on June 6-7 last year.
- Other than the 14,000 people of the 51 enclaves that became part of India, about 921 who came from Bangladesh have also become Indian citizens.
- Law Ministry was earlier planning to bring an ordinance to amend the two laws. But the idea was shot down at a meeting of inter-ministerial group chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh a few days back as dates of the Budget session were set to be announced. As per convention, ordinances are avoided when session dates are announced.
2) Rescuers find wreckage of missing Nepal plane, which vanished in midair with 23 people on board:
- Rescuers in Nepal have found the wreckage of a passenger plane, which vanished in midair with 23 people on board.
- The small jet lost contact with air traffic controllers over Pokhara – a popular resort town west of Kathmandu – and was carrying 20 passengers and three crewmembers.
- Two passengers are believed to be foreigners and two children are also thought to have been on board.
- The army had deployed helicopters and soldiers to search Myagdi, a mountainous district about 160 miles (220km) west of Kathmandu, after locals reported seeing possible wreckage of the Tara Air plane.
- Nepal, which is still reeling from a devastating earthquake last April, has suffered a number of air disasters in recent years, dealing a blow to its tourist industry. Most have been attributed to inexperienced pilots, poor management and inadequate maintenance.
- Authorities say the jet was heading towards Jomson, a starting point for trekkers heading into the mountains. The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Tara Air, is believed to have been packed with trekkers heading towards the mountains.
- According to Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the plane’s wreckage was found near the village of Dana in Myagdi district.
3) Sikkim Becomes India’s First 100% Organic, GMO-free Farming State:
- Implementing organic farming practices on 75,000 hectares of land, the citizens of Sikkim will enjoy GMO-free, sustainable agriculture, which will be certified organic.
- The many thousands of hectares of land have been gradually converted to certified-organic land by following guidelines specified in the National Program for Organic Production. This has been a process underway since 2003, when the Pawan Chamling-led government declared Sikkim to be an organic farming state in the legislative assembly.
- Slowly, chemicals such as non-organic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides used in conventional farming were lessened, and eventually banned. This left farmers with no other option, except to farm organically.
- Secretary Khorlo Bhutia expects that tourism will increase in the landlocked, Himalayan state, due to these organic farming practices. Resorts located in Sikkim are already using their certified organic status to entice travelers to pick their own vegetables for dinner, straight from hotel and resort gardens.
- Considering the demand for organic food worldwide, Sikkim should enjoy not only increased tourism, but also increased pride by local citizens who are becoming involved in taking care of the planet and its sentient life in a proper way.
4) Ex-CJI Justice HL Dattu will be next Chairperson of NHRC–
- Former Chief Justice of India Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was today selected as the next Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission.
- A committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the name of Dattu for the post which was lying vacant for the last eight months after the retirement of K G Balakrishnan.
- Besides the Prime Minister, the meeting was attended by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien.
- 65-year-old Justice Dattu had retired as Chief Justice of India on December 2 last year and after taking over as NHRC Chairperson he will have a tenure of five years.
- Under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the President appoints the chairperson and members of the NHRC on the recommendation of the high-powered committee headed by the Prime Minister.
- Justice Dattu was Chief Justice of India from September 28, 2014 to December 2, 2015
- Justice Dattu enrolled as an advocate in 1975 and began practising in Bangalore and dealt with all types of matters — civil, criminal, tax and Constitutional cases.
- From 1983 onwards he appeared in various capacities before the Karnataka High Court including as government pleader for sales tax department, standing counsel for Income Tax department and later as government advocate.
5) U’khand chief minister appoints panel to pick Lokayukta:
- The Uttarakhand government on Sunday went a step closer to appoint a Lokayukta after a panel headed by chief minister Harish Rawat set up a five-member search committee.
- The members of the search committee are former high court acting chief justice Brahmma Singh, former high court judge Bhanwar Singh, former chief secretary RS Tolia, retired IAS officer Vibhapuri Das and economist Alok Shah.
- Three other members of the selection panel – assembly speaker GS Kunjwal, state high court judge VK Bisht and retired high court judge Irshad Hussain – were also present.
- The selection committee maintained that the search panel would suggest the name of the Lokayukta at the earliest.
- The process of appointing a Lokayukta got momentum more than two years after the Congress government passed an anti-graft bill modelled on the Centre’s Lok Pal Act.
- The UPA government enacted the Lok Pal Act in 2013. The chief minister recently came under fire from his predecessor Vijay Bahuguna for not expediting the process of appointing the Lokayukta.