- Wildlife Crime Control Cell in State soon
- The State Forest, Environment and Climate Change department is all set to launch a wildlife crime control cell by the end of this year.
- A wildlife crime control bureau is already functional at centre and the cell would be made at the State headquarters, having all the modern equipment and GIS system. It will not just be for preventing crime against wildlife but other issues as well including sightings and conflicts.
- With the new initiatives of the department in the duration including natural regeneration of forest on 36,310 hectare of land which is 1.5 per cent of the total forest land which was started in 2018-19, expansion of trees outside forest area under which beneficiaries are given 75 per cent of subsidy on buying saplings, construction of 820 check dams in forest areas for water conservation among others.
- The State of Forest Report 2017 showed that there has been a forest and tree cover expansion in the State on an area of 37,300 hectare as compared to 2013. Also, the report mentioned that the forest area in the State has increased to 33.21 per cent. The growing stock in State, which was 15.97 crore cubic metre increased to 18.2 crore cubic metre in 2017, which is an increase of 14 per cent.
- Compared to 2011, the bamboo producing area has increased from 867 sq km to 4470 sq. km in 2017. Also, the total area of water bodies which was 147 sq. km in 2005 increased to 211 sq. km in 2015, registering an increase of 44 per cent.
- New Zealand plans to ease abortion restrictions
- New Zealand’s government announced Monday that it plans changes to the country’s abortion laws that would treat the procedure as a health issue rather than a crime.
- While abortions have been available in New Zealand for decades, the procedure is still regulated under the Crimes Act which came into force in 1961.
- The proposed new law would remove that requirement for women who are up to 20 weeks pregnant. For those more than 20 weeks pregnant, a doctor or health practitioner would still need to approve the procedure.
- Centre scraps Article 370, bifurcates J & K into two Union Territories
- Article 35(A) stems from Article 370, and was introduced through a Presidential Order in 1954, on the recommendation of the J&K Constituent Assembly. This article empowered the state legislature to define who the state’s ‘permanent residents’ were, along with their special rights and privileges.
The Changes :
- J&K has been reorganised into two Union territories— Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
- Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry, where key subjects like law and order are with the Centre.
- Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh.
- The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir will now become a Lieutenant Governor.
- After the revocation of 370, there will be no separate constitution for J&K and its citizens.
- Before Article 370 – The J&K State had two different flags of India and the state.
After Article 370 – There will be no separate flag for J&K and it will be at par with the entire country.
- Before Article 370 – Only people who had citizenship of J&K could buy and sell property.
After Article 370 – Indian citizens from other states of the country can buy and sell property in J&K.
- Before Article 370 – The citizens of the state enjoyed dual citizenship which was of the state and India both.
After Article 370 – The citizens have just one citizenship which will be prevalent to all other citizens of the state.
- Before Article 370 – Except for defense, foreign affairs, finance, and communications, Parliament needs the state government’s approval for applying any laws.
After Article 370 – The Parliament can implement any law without the state’s approval which also includes changing the state’s name and its boundaries.
- Before Article 370 – J&K had separate national anthems during the application of the article which was of the state and the country.
After Article 370 – There will be only one national anthem for the entire country.
- Before Article 370 – Only state laws could apply before and the central government had no authority to declare financial emergencies.
After Article 370 – Central laws can directly be applied and it can declare financial emergencies under article 360 in J&K.
- Before Article 370 – The citizens of J&K had separate laws related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights.
After Article 370 – There will be no separate laws for the citizens of J&K. It will be the same as the rest of the country.
- India test-fires Surface to Air-Missile from Chandipur in Odisha
- India successfully test-fired its all-weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) from a mobile launcher at launch complex III of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha.
- It was the second developmental trial of the missile in this year from the same test range.
- Earlier, the surface-to-air missile was tested successfully on Feb 26, 2019.
- Jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Ltd, the QR-SAM weapon system is a quick reaction, network-centric missile system capable of search-on-the-move.
- QR-SAM system can also engage multiple targets within a range of around 25 to 30 km with two vehicle configuration for area air defence.
· Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy Regulation Bill
- The Bill aims to bancommercial surrogacy in the country. It was introduced by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.
- The Bill regulatesaltruistic surrogacy and ends the exploitation of women who are lending their womb for surrogacy.
- It provides provisions to protect therights of children born through surrogacy.
- The Bill allows only altruistic surrogacy by infertile Indian couples, who are legally married for at least 5 years, from a close relative. It prohibits foreigners, Non-resident Indians (NRI) Person of Indian Origins (PIO) from commissioning surrogacy.
- The Bill will establish National and State Surrogacy Boards, the appointment of appropriate authorities for the regulation of the practice and process of surrogacy.
- Commercial surrogacyincludes a monetary benefit or reward (in cash or kind) that exceeds basic medical expenses and insurance for the surrogate mother. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019 bans this type of surrogacy.
· Lok Sabha passed the 2019 Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill
- The Bill establishes anational security authority to safegaurd the rights of the transgenders
- It will provide a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowermentof transgenders
- As per the Bill, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy, a person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender
- The Bill requires a transgender person to go through a district magistrateand district screening committee to get certified as a transperson
- It removes the provision that criminalised begging by transgender people. This provision was part of the Bill when it was introduced
- It will benefit the transgender people who are discriminated and abused against the marginalised section of the society
- It prohibits discrimination against a transgender person in the field of education, employment and healthcare