Read about the new money bill to be tabled in the parliament, the new amendment in the nepal constitution, the 1st woman officer to lead the Indian Army contingent and more …
1) Govt all set to introduce Aadhar Bill as Money Bill:
- The bill to provide Aadhaar statutory backing and make it the mainstay of the government’s direct benefit transfer (DBT) programme for subsidies will be tabled in Parliament on Thursday as a money bill.
- The bill will also adequately address privacy concerns that have been one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the universal acceptance of Aadhaar.
- The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was listed for introduction on Thursday by finance minister Arun Jaitley in the revised list of business available on the Lok Sabha’s website.
- The bill will provide for “good governance, efficient, transparent, and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India, to individuals residing in India through assigning of unique identity numbers to such individuals..”, a brief summary of the bill said.
- Most of the government’s social security schemes and digital initiatives are critically dependent on use of the Aadhaar unique identity number. The number will also form the cornerstone of India’s move towards a cashless economy.
- Giving statutory backing to Aadhaar will enable the use of this identification number for better targeting of subsidies.
- As per the provisions of the bill, Aadhaar will be made mandatory for anyone who wants to receive government benefits and subsidies.
2) Nepal to amend Constitution to address Madhesis’ demands, India welcomes move:
- In a significant development, the Nepal government has decided to amend the new Constitution to address two key demands of agitating Medhesis regarding proportional representation and constituency delimitation, a move that was welcomed by India.
- The decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar here last night, which also agreed to set up a political mechanism to recommend solutions to disputes over the proposed provincial boundaries within three months of its formation.
- The meeting decided to move forward with the bill to amend the new Constitution, which has already been tabled in parliament.
- The agitating Madhes-based parties have been protesting for over four months against the seven-province model proposed in the new Constitution that divides their ancestral land as a way to politically marginalise them.
- They have blockaded Nepal’s border trade points with India, causing a shortage of essential goods and medicines in the landlocked country.
- At least 50 people have been killed in protests by Indian-origin Madhesis since August. Madhesis, who reside in Terai region, constitute nearly 52 per cent of Nepal’s population.
3) In a first, a woman officer leads Indian Army contingent at multi-national military exercises:
- Lt Col Sophia Qureshi, a young woman officer of the Indian Army, is leading the country’s contingent at Force 18, the largest ever foreign military exercise hosted by India, which began in Pune today.
- The officer also happens to be the only woman officer Contingent Commander among all ASEAN Plus contingents present for the exercise.
- Lt Col Qureshi, who is leading an Army contingent of 40 soldiers, is an officer from the Corps of Signals who has the rare distinction of becoming the first woman officer to lead an Indian Army training contingent in such a large multinational exercise.
- Ten members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN,) plus eight observer states – India, Japan, Korea, China, Russia, United States, Australia and New Zealand – are participating in the eight-day exercise with themes ‘Humanitarian Mine Action’ and ‘Peacekeeping Operations’.
- In its first phase, over 28 foreign trainers were trained by the Indian Army from February 24 to March 1. These trainers will form the training backbone for the conduct of the exercise.
- A grand opening ceremony was held at Aundh Military Station which was presided over by Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Commander of Pune based Southern Command.
- The foreign participants also witnessed martial skills performed by the Indian Army, including drill by soldiers from the Mechanised Infantry Regimental Centre.
4) Martin Crowe: Ex-New Zealand captain dies of cancer at 53-
- Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has died of cancer at the age of 53.The ex-Black Caps batsman had been suffering from lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, for a second time.
- He received the all-clear from the disease in 2012 but confirmed in September 2014 that it had returned.
- His older brother, Jeff, played 39 Tests for New Zealand between 1983 and 1990, while he was a cousin of the Hollywood actor Russell Crowe.
- Auckland-born Crowe is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s best players, scoring 17 centuries and 5,444 runs in 77 Tests at an average of 45.36.
- Crowe captained the Kiwis in 16 Test matches and his highest score was 299 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 1991. Named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1985, he was player of the tournament at the 1992 World Cup, scoring 456 runs in nine matches.
- Crowe also had a spell with English county side Somerset between 1984 and 1988, and scored a total of 19,608 first-class runs in his career. He retired in 1996 with a knee injury and went on to become a television commentator and author.
5) Patanjali to set up Food Park in Punjab:
- Patanjali Ayurved, an Indian FMCG company, will set up a Food Park at Ludhiana while ITC is coming with a food processing unit in the State, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said here on Wednesday.
- The Deputy Chief Minister said ITC is coming up with a food processing unit in the State.
- With zero tax policy on food processing units, several giants like Pepsi, Coke are coming into this venture, he said.
- Patanjali Ayurved Limited was founded as a small pharmacy in Haridwar in 1997 by Ramdev and is currently chaired by his associate Balkrishna.
- Patanjali Ayurved is amongst the fastest growing fast-moving-consumer-goods firm in India with annual revenues reportedly at more than Rs 2,000 crore. Ramdev is reported to have said in one of the interviews ithat he expects to take the revenue to Rs 10000 crore.