- Chhattisgarh government begins process to return land to Bastar farmers
- The state government has initiated the process to return nearly 2000 hectares of farmers’ land acquired in tribal Bastar region for the Tata Steel’s proposed mega steel plant project which has since been abandoned. This is the first time in the country’s history that such an initiative has been taken.
- Tata Steel had given Rs 72 crore to the previous government, of which Rs 65 crore was distributed to the affected farmers. The finances related to the project would also be discussed at the cabinet meeting to be held soon. The officer indicated that crucial decisions, including return of the land, are expected to be taken up during the first cabinet meeting.
- The previous government had acquired land from tribals near Louhandiguda in Bastar in 2005 for setting up Tata Steel plant with an investment of Rs 19500 crore. The project did not come up for several years and the steel giant backed out from the project, while the government kept the land in the land pool, but did not return it to its original owners.
· Thailand becomes 1st country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical marijuana
- The junta-appointed parliament voted 166-0 to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979to legalise the medicinal use of marijuana.
- Marijuana was used in Thailand to relieve pain and fatigueuntil its use was criminalised in the country in the 1930s.
- In Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, marijuana traffickers who are caught, face capital punishment.
· Russia successfully tested hypersonic missile
- Russia successfully tested thehypersonic missile system. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed final tests of a hypersonic missile, which he had earlier said would render existing missile systems obsolete.
- Russia has a new type of strategic weapon, the intercontinental Avangard system would be ready for use from 2019.
- The hypersonic missile could fly at 20 times the speedof sound and manoeuvre up and down, meaning that it could breach defence systems. The final test is after U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to pull out of a key Cold War-era nuclear weapons pact, the three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Mr.Putin has laid out plans to develop missiles banned under the deal if the U.S. abandons it.
· Aadhaar not mandatory for admission in schools
- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has made it clear that schools cannot make Aadhaar a pre-condition to admit the students. UIDAI has categorically made it clear that asking for Aadhaar card for admissions is not as per the provisions of law and doing so will be against the recent order of the Supreme Court.
- UIDAI has asked schools to ensure that children are not left out from schools due to unavailability of Aadhaar. Instead, the UIDAI has asked the schools to admit children without Aadhaar and ensure that children are enrolled for Aadhaar once they are in schools by arranging special camps for them.
- The UIDAI’s clarification has come at a right time as admissions to nursery and entry-level classes have begun in over 1,500 private schools in Delhi.
- No rise in working women despite high literacy levels: ICRIER study
- A rise in literacy levels among women has failed to translate into an increase in the number of working women due to a combination of socio-economic factors such as the importance of education for improving marital prospects as well as higher prestige attached to households which keep women out of labour force, according to a new research.
- A study by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) has cited the Labour Bureau’s employment figures to show that there is a rise in the percentage of women out of labour force between 2011-2012 and 2015-2016 across all levels of education and age-cohorts.
- The research attributes the trend to four major factors: the role education plays in marriage markets, social norms, poor condition for educated women and quality of education.
· A 16-yr-old can drive e-scooter now
- Teenagers in the 16-18 age group can drive e-scooters as part of the India’s aim to become an all-electric nation by 2030.
- Aimed at promoting electric mobility among first-time motorcyclists and the automotive fraternity, the initiative to allow 16-year-olds to drive e-scooters comes close on the introduction of green licence plate for electric motor vehicles.
- The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has amended the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 to modify the ‘Category L1’ (motorcycle) to pave way for those in the 16- 18 age group to drive e-scooters that has started hitting the market.