Current Affairs, News & Facts of 08 Oct 2015

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  • National Green Tribunal slaps Green Tax on commercial vehicles entering Delhi

     

    National Green Tribunal slaps Green Tax on commercial vehicles entering Delhi

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    • Cracking down on polluting diesel trucks that ferry goods to Delhi, National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed all commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay an environmental compensation charge in addition to the toll tax.
    • National Green Tribunal (NGT) has observed that vehicular pollution is one of the main sources of inferior quality of air in Delhi. Low toll tax is an incentive for heavy vehicles to pass through Delhi rather than taking alternate route which will reduce pollution. Nearly 66,000 heavy commercial vehicles enter Delhi daily.
    • The green panel ordered that Environmental Compensation would be payable at the rates of Rs 700 for two-axle vehicles, Rs 1,000 for three-axle and Rs 500 for four-axle and above.

    As per the orders of  National Green Tribunal (NGT) :-

    • NGT directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and DPCC to purchase or arrange instruments for checking emission of moving overloaded heavy vehicles.
    • The additional amount collected in the form of environment, compensation by the check posts would be paid to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) which will maintain a separate account.
    • All vehicles destined for places other than Delhi shall be diverted at Panipat to take an alternate route via NH-71A and NH-71 and exit at Bawal in Haryana.
    • The trucks, which are not destined to Delhi and have not taken alternate route would not be permitted to enter the capital and would be returned to Panipat to take an alternate route.
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  • Govt approves formation of Indian Skill Development Service 

     

    Govt approves formation of Indian Skill Development Service

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    • The union cabinet approved the formation of the Indian Skill Development Service (ISDS), a Group 'A' service of the technical cadre of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSD&E). 
    • Indian Skill Development Service (ISDS) was earlier called the Directorate General of Employment & Training under the Ministry of Labour Employment.
    • The Cabinet also approved introduction of Non-functional Selection Grade (NFSG) to the extent of 15 per cent of SDPs at the STS (Senior time Scale) level as applicable in Group 'A' Engineering Service.

    The cadre restructuring changes approved by the Cabinet includes :- 

    • Increase of one post at Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level
    • Increase of four posts at Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) level
    • Increase of seven posts at STS level
    • Reduction of 12 posts at the Junior time Scale (JTS) level

    Who can create new All India Services ? 

    • As per the Constitution of India, a new All India service can be instituted with only on the initiative of Rajya Sabha, Article 312 provides that an All India Service can be created only if the Council of State declares by a resolution supported by not less than a two-thirds majority that it is necessary in the national interest to create one or more such All India Services.
    • All India Services, by their very nature, are instruments of national integration and national unity. They ensure the maintenance of common standards all over the country in certain vital fields of administration.
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  • California signed Right to Die Bill for terminally ill people into a Law

     

    California signed Right to Die Bill for terminally ill people into a Law

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    • California has joined four other US states that allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives with a doctor's supervision. At least two dozen states introduced aid-in-dying legislation this year, but none has become law.
    • The right-to-die movement gained support in California after Brittany Maynard, a cancer patient who lived in the state, moved to Oregon to legally end her life. Her family including her mother, Debbie Ziegler, spoke in support of the bill.
    • Religious groups had opposed the bill, saying assisted suicide was against God's will. The Catholic Church had urged Governor Brown to veto it. Some people fear that terminally ill patients could be pressured into choosing death.
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  • Korea’s Hoesung Lee elected as Chairman of IPCC

     

     Korea’s Hoesung Lee elected as Chairman of IPCC

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    • Hoesung Lee of South Korea has been named the new head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),  the UN body tasked with assessing climate science. He is the fourth person to lead the IPCC in its 27-year history.
    • Hoesung Lee was elected in on-going 42nd session IPCC in Dubrovnik, Croatia by 78 votes to 56 in a run-off election with Jean-Pascale van Ypersele from Belgium.
    • Lee succeeds the previous chairperson R.K. Pachauri of India who had stepped down, following the sexual abuse scandal in which he was allegedly involved.

    Facts about Hoesung Lee :-

    • Prof  Lee, is a professor in the economics of climate change, energy and sustainable development. Lee, has been one of the IPCC's three vice-chairs since 2008. He has been involved in the IPCC in various capacities including as Working Group III Co-Chair since its Second Assessment Report of 1992.
    • Prof  Lee has served on various boards including as executive member of the Korean Academy of Environmental Sciences; a member of the Asia Development Bank.
    • President’s advisory board, a council member of the Global Green Growth Institute and an editorial board member of UK based Climate Policy.

    About Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) :-

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)  in recognition of the problem of global warming.

    Members :-

    Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Currently 195 countries are its members.

    Function:-

    Through the IPCC, climate experts from around the world synthesize the most recent climate science findings every five to seven years and present their report to the world’s political leaders. The IPCC has issued comprehensive assessments in 1990, 1996, 2001 and most recently the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) released in 2007.

    Awards and honours :- 

    IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report was a  comprehensive assessment Experts from more than 130 countries contributed to this assessment, which represents six years of work. 4th  AR had helped them to win Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. During this time R.K. Pachauri was its Chairman. 

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  • SC Refuses to Modify Order Restricting Use of Aadhaar Cards

     

    SC Refuses to Modify Order Restricting Use of Aadhaar Cards

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    • Supreme Court refused to allow for or the wider use of Aadhaar as proof of identity by banks, the stock markets and phone companies and even by statutory bodies like RBI, SEBI to voluntary use of Aadhaar card for welfare schemes. Supreme Court said that Aadhaar card would be essential only for public distribution system (PDS) and LPG schemes.
    • A bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar, which had initially directed the government not to insist on Aadhaar or deny social welfare benefits to the weaker sections for the lack of this proof of identity made it clear modification in this matter will be heard by a larger constitution bench of SC.
    • The order in this regard was given after Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, TRAI, Pension Fund Regulatory Authority and states like Gujarat and Jharkhand had recently moved the court and pitched strongly for voluntary use of Aadhaar cards for providing benefits of various schemes, other than PDS and LPG, at the doorsteps of the aged and the weaker sections.  
    • Earlier in August 2015 apex court had said Aadhaar card was not mandatory, there should not be any problem in allowing it to be used on voluntarily basis to establish the identity of persons but one can avail welfare schemes even if they do not have Adhaar card.
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