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Important Current Affairs 15th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 15th August 2017

Current Affairs 15th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Justice Dipak Misra set to become 45th Chief Justice of India

The Centre on August 8, 2017 cleared the file for appointment of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India with effect from August 28, 2017.
●    Justice Misra, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court after the current CJI, Justice J.S. Khehar, who is retiring on August 27, 2017, will have a tenure of about 14 months till October 2, 2018.
●    Justice Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court on October 10, 2011. 
●    He enrolled as an advocate on February 14, 1977 and appointed an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996. 
●    After a stint in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, he became a Permanent Judge in December 1997 before assuming charge as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court in 2009 and, later on, served as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.
●    As the current Executive Chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), Justice Misra embarked on a programme to turn State Legal Services Authorities' offices into hubs providing facilities that enable litigants under legal aid to access court documents, case status and connect to their advocates online and through dedicated phone numbers. 
●    The facility called 'Legal Assistance Establishments' or Nyaya Sanyog will cater to poor litigants and the families of undertrials languishing in jails to get quick access to justice.

Gaj Yatra campaign to protect elephants launched


Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, recently launched the 'Gaj Yatra' campaign.
●    On the occasion, the Environment Minister also released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants along with the Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh and a document titled 'Right of Passage' on elephant corridors in India.
●    The Gaj Yatra is a nationwide campaign to protect elephants and is scheduled to cover 12 elephant range states.
●    Over the next 15 months, artists and craftsmen will create life-size works on the theme of elephants in places along the route of the roadshow, covering 12 states that have wild elephants, using local art and craft
●    Specially fabricated vehicles will be deployed to display these on predetermined routes with campaigners.
●    The 'Gaju' mascot, which was released by the Ministry in 2012, will be helm the campaign


Question paper should be uniform in each language in the proper examination: Supreme Court


The Supreme Court on Thursday reiterated its earlier order not to set aside the 2017 Neet examination and to stay the ongoing counseling for medical admissions across the country. 
●    The court asked the CBSE to have uniform question papers in English, Hindi and regional languages from 2018 as this year it did not want to disturb the process. 
●    A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitav Roy and A.M. Khanwilkar told senior counsel Indira Jaising, and other counsel appearing for a batch of students that it would be difficult to disturb the admission process particularly when over six lakh students had passed the Neet, out of 11.74 lakh students who appeared for it. 
●    The bench, however, pulled up the CBSE for having different question papers for English, Hindi and regional languages and wondered how evaluation of standards of students is possible. “We want a commonality in exam and identical papers for English Hindi and regional languages next year. 
●    We want you to consult experts and file an affidavit as to how you are going to implement uniformity in standards.”
●    Additional solicitor Maninder Singh submitted that the difficulty level in English, Hindi and other languages was same as experts in those languages evaluated it.


Shia Waqf board files affidavit in Supreme Court


Seeking that the mosque be built in a Muslim-dominated area maintaining a reasonable distance from Lord Ram's birth place, the Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) on Tuesday filed an affidavit in Supreme Court in the ongoing Ayodhya case even as Shias and Sunnis have been divided over the issue.
●    The Board also told the apex court in an affidavit that the Babri Masjid site was its property and only it was entitled to hold negotiations for an amicable settlement of the dispute.
●    The 30-page affidavit assumes significance as it has been filed within few days of the apex court agreeing to fast track the hearing on a batch of appeals challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict on the land dispute in the case.
●    The Waqf Board has sought time from the top court for setting up of a committee for exploring an amicable resolution of the vexatious issue.

Govt forms Anomalies Panel to look at CPSE pay revision issues


The government has constituted an Anomalies Committee to look into the issues and problems that may arise in the course of implementation of its decision on revision of pay scales of executives working in central PSUs.
●    The Anomalies Committee will have a tenure of two years with effect from August 1, 2017. 
●    It comprises secretaries from the Department of Public Enterprises, Department of Expenditure and the Department of Personnel and Training, according to a memorandum issued by the Department of Public Enterprises.
●    The Cabinet, last month, cleared a 15% hike in salaries of board-level and below board-level executives and non-unionised supervisors working in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs).
●    It had approved implementation of the recommendations of the 3rd Pay Revision Committee constituted for the purpose.
●    The commission had recommended a 15% increase in emoluments, the lowest so far. Higher wages are effective from January 1, 2017.


Jharkhand passes anti-conversion Bill


The Jharkhand Assembly on Saturday passed the anti-conversion Bill brought by the BJP-led government amid demand by opposition parties to send the Bill to a select committee, a demand the government turned down. 
●    The Religious Freedom Bill-2017 will now be sent to the Governor, following whose approval it would go to the President for assent. 
●    While ruling NDA MLAs hailed it as a legislation that should have been implemented right when Jharkhand became a state, Opposition members pointed out that penal provisions already exist in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
●    The Bill has provision for imprisonment of three years and fine of Rs 50,000 or both, and four year- imprisonment and Rs 1 lakh fine, or both, if the person converted is a minor, woman or a member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. 
●    It also says that a person converting willingly will have to inform the Deputy Commissioner about details such as time, place and the person who administers the conversion proceedings.
●    Starting the discussion, Stephen Marandi, senior MLA of Opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), requested that the Bill be referred to the select committee. 
●    “The Constitution gives freedom to practice and profess one’s religion. 
●    There are already penal provisions in IPC for those indulging in coercive conversion or using allurement. So what is the need for a separate Bill,” he asked.

Current Affairs 15th August 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Earthquake of magnitude 7 on Richter scale struck China


A high-intensity earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale struck China on 8 August 2017. 
●    The quake that struck a remote, mountainous part of Sichuan province has claimed lives of at least 19 people, including six tourists, and injured about 250 people.
●    According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the quake's epicentre was located in the popular tourist destination of Jiuzhaigou at an estimated depth of 20 kilometres.
●    Jiuzhaigou or Jiuzhai Valley is a national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations. 
●    It is located on the edge of the Plateau in northern Sichuan province, which is a home to many Tibetan and other ethnic minority villages.
●    The state-run Xinhua news agency said as many as 31500 tourists had been evacuated from the quake zone. 
●    Officials said that a total of 108 aftershocks were recorded, all below 4.0 magnitude. Police and firefighters are rescuing people trapped in the rubble.


Extreme weather could kill 150,000 people each year in Europe by the end of the century


More than 150,000 people could die as a result of climate change each year in Europe by the end of the century, shocking new research has found.
●    The number of deaths caused by extreme weather events will increase 50-fold and two in three people on the continent will be affected by disasters, the study – that serves as a stark warning of the deadly impact of global warming – found.
●    The research by European Commission scientists lays out a future where hundreds of thousands of people die from heatstroke, heart and breathing problems, and flash flooding. 
●    It describes a world where droughts bring food shortages, people are at an increased risk of being killed by disease and infection, and the countryside is ravaged by wildfires.

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