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- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched a web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances. The portal is a web-based system for obtaining clearances required from the Ministry for ease of doing business. CRZ is the zone along the coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters along the coastline specially demarcated for regulated development activity.
- The Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has announced a new Open Acreage Licensing Policy for oil and gas exploration. The new policy will allow bidders to carve out areas where they want to drill. It will help India, which is the world’s third-largest oil consumer to attract greater foreign investment to boost output.
- The eleventh edition of joint military exercise ‘Surya Kiran 2017′ between India and Nepal began in Pithoragarh area of Uttarakhand. It is a two-week long battalion level joint exercise between the armies of both countries. It will focus on skills required for natural disaster management, counter-insurgency and jungle warfare.
- The joint military exercise Al-Nagah-II 2017 between India and Oman began in the Dhauladhar Ranges in Bakloh belt of Himachal Pradesh to strengthen the military ties between the two countries. This is the second edition of the exercise in continuation of a series of joint exercises between the armies of the two countries. The first edition of the exercise was held at Muscat, Oman in 2015.
- According to a recent survey released by Transparency International, India had the highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia-Pacific countries surveyed between July 2015 and January 2017. The survey was conducted among more than 21,000 people in the region. It revealed that more than one in four people, when accessing basic services like medicine, education or water resorted to bribery.
- The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). Under this MoU, the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) and UN-Women will work in collaboration with each other to promote participation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions.
- According to a recently released World Health Organisation (WHO) report entitled “Inheriting a sustainable world: Atlas on children’s health and the environment”, a polluted environment kills around 1.7 million children a year. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the environment’s impact, especially air pollution on children’s health, illustrating the scale of the challenge.
- The Trade Mark Rules, 2017 have come into effect, streamlining and simplifying the processing of Trade Mark applications. The new rules were released by Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry and will replace the erstwhile Trade Mark Rules, 2002. For the first time, the rules have laid out the modalities for determination of well-known trademarks.
- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has instituted formal investigations against 41 Indian nationals whose names cropped up in the Panama Papers leak for alleged undisclosed business interests in offshore companies. Notices have also been served on several entities to join the probe.
- The Rajasthan government has filed an appeal in a Jodhpur court, challenging the acquittal of actor Salman Khan in the Arms Act case. On January 18, Mr. Khan was acquitted of charges of alleged possession of and use of weapons with expired licence while hunting chinkaras and blackbucks.
- WikiLeaks published thousands of documents purportedly taken from the Central Intelligence Agency’s ‘Center for Cyber Intelligence’, a dramatic release that appears to provide an eye-opening look at the intimate details of America’s cyberespionage toolkit.
- A United Nations report describes South Sudan as teetering on the edge of genocide and experiencing ethnic cleansing. The report blames security forces for violations and warns that if no one is held to account, the viability of South Sudan will be stymied.
- The Commonwealth of Nations has launched the “Peace in the Home” programme to help member states tackle domestic violence which still remains a “stubborn stain” on communities, disproportionately impacting women. The programme was launched on Women’s Day (March 8) and will continue through till 2018 when there is expected to be an a ccord on ending domestic violence in the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth of Nations is a 52-member international intergovernmental organisation of countries that were mostly former territories of the British Empire and dependencies. It was established by the London Declaration in 1949. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth. She is also the monarch of 16 members of the Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth realms.
- The European Space Agency (ESA) has successfully launched the Sentinel-2B satellite, the fifth of its Sentinel Earth observation satellites, as part of its multi-billion-euro ‘Copernicus’ observation program. The optical imaging satellite was launched on board of a Vega rocket from ESA’s spaceport in French Guiana. The Copernicus observation program is the world’s largest single earth observation programme. It is directed by the European Commission in partnership with the ESA.
CG wishes y’all a happy Women’s Day, and hopes to see a lot more women in law schools this year!