Stifling democratic debate – (Indian polity)
· The show cause notices issued to three television channels by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday for their coverage of the Yakub Memon issue and events in the run-up to his execution, are unwarranted and have little basis in law.
· Criticism of the President’s actions and of court judgments are normal in the public discourse and are an integral part of the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 1(a) of the Constitution.
Treat trees like assets, says Prakash Javadekar – (Environment)
· Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar on Monday launched the School Nursery Yojana aimed at bringing students closer to nature.
· Under the scheme, the Centre will pay every school Rs. 25,000 in a one-time payment to cover the cost of saplings and to train teachers and students in growing trees. The State governments will give seeds free of cost. Students are also expected to carry out a tree census in their school and the nearby locality.
Not for moral policing: Centre – (Social Issues)
· After blocking over 850 porn websites, the Union government on Monday told the Supreme Court it was not a “totalitarian state” bent on conducting moral policing.
· Attorney-General MukulRohatgi made it clear before a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu that child pornography was a strict ‘no-no’, with India being no exception from the developed world in banning child pornography.
Bio-diesel being sold at select pumps – (Environment)
· The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas celebrated ‘World Bio Fuel Day’ on Monday with Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announcing the availability of high-speed diesel (HSD) blended with bio-diesel at select outlets around the country.
· This is the first time in India that biofuel-blended diesel will be sold in retail outlets.
Job creation, the greatest challenge facing India – (Economics)
· Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said that the three major challenges India is facing have to do with job creation, climate change, and the lack of innovation and scalability.
After spate of attacks, Afghan President lashes out at Pak. – (International Relations)
· In a sudden shift from his previous, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has lashed out at the Pakistani government. While Afghanistan had made “sincere efforts for peace,” groups based in Pakistan continued to “send messages of war,” he said in Kabul.
· Within Afghanistan, some experts said Mr. Ghani’s comments displayed his realisation of the “hopelessness” of the situation.
GST: Centre takes states on board – (Economics)
· The idea behind the government proposal to empower the States is to provide a cushion on GST to the manufacturing States since they expressed apprehensions about losing revenue. Their fears stem from the fact that the GST will take in subsume all taxes that the States now charge at the factory gate etc and will instead be levied and collected at the point of consumption.
· This one-per cent additional levy, however, is rendered unnecessary after the Union Cabinet’s approval last month of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee’s recommendation requiring the Centre to commit itself to compensating all loses to the States owing to the transition to the GST for five years.