The Daily Brief – 24th August 2017

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  • An alternative mechanism for framework of public sector banks has been accepted by the Union Government. The mechanism would facilitate consolidation among the nationalised banks to create strong and competitive banks and also improve their competitiveness and efficiency.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved closure of Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited (BWEL), a central public sector enterprise under the Ministry of Railways.  The CCEA decision will stop flow of financial support from public funds for carrying on the operations of BWEL resulting in savings for the Government.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Nepal on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances was recently approved by the Union Cabinet. It lists areas of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, their precursor chemicals and related matters between both neighbouring countries. It also indicates mechanism for information exchange and competent authorities for implementation.
  • A proposal for setting up of Commission under article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes was recently approved by the Union Cabinet. It is named as the Commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and it will submit its report within 12 weeks from date of appointment of the Chairperson.
  • The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has launched Mentor India Campaign, a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders to guide and mentor at Atal Tinkering Labs thus maximizing the Lab’s impact.  Under this initiative, NITI Aayog is looking for leaders who can spend one to two hours every week in one or more such labs to enable students learn, experience and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking.
  • Indian scientists recently discovered a new frog with a pig face. Nasikabatrachus bhupathi, a new species of frog that has a snout-shaped nose, just like a pig in West Ghats. t has been named after the Indian herpetologist S. Bhupathy. It shows similarity to a Purple Frog earlier discovered in Seychelles.
  • The Supreme Court of India recently declared the practice of instant divorce through triple talaq as being unconstitutional, illegal, void and not protected under Article 25 of the Constitution which protects freedom of religion. The verdict was given by the 5 member multi-religion constitutional bench of the SC. Justice Kurian Joseph (Christian), Justice U.U Lalit (Hindu) and Justice Rohington F, Nariman (Parsi) gave majority judgment. Chief Justice J.S. Khehar (Sikh) and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer (Muslim) dissented against the judgment. Two judges in the majority judgment(Justice Nariman and U.U. Lalit) held the practice of instant triple talaq to be unconstitutional while one  judge(Justice Joseph) held instant triple talaq as being against the teachings in Quran.
  • Former Manipur Chief Minister and Veteran Congress leader Rishang Keishing passed away in Imphal following a brief illness. He was 96. He was freedom fighter and member of India’s first parliament (1952-57). He had served as the Chief Minister of Manipur for four terms from 1980 to 1988 and 1994 to 1997. He was the last surviving member of India’s first post-1947 Parliament.

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