- Cabinet expansion likely before August 20
- The much-awaited Cabinet expansion is expected to take place before August 20, with a Muslim face. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s idea is to induct a Muslim leader into the Cabinet before the Minority Sadassu scheduled to be organised in Guntur on August 28.
- At present, there is no representation for Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Muslims in the Cabinet. Two vacancies have arisen following the resignation of the Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs in March this year. The TDP has been focussing on consolidating minority vote bank after severing ties with the BJP.
· Tokyo to deploy facial recognition in the Summer Olympics 2020
- The Summer Olympics of 2020has been planned to happen in Tokyo. In Tokyo 2020 the athletes and the staff will be scanned by cutting-edge facial recognition technology. This is the first time facial recognition ever that is to be deployed for all the people involved in the Olympics at all venue.
- The electronics giant NEChas developed the technology in order to prevent fraudulent entry by people borrowing, stealing or faking an ID card. The technology will take only 0.3 seconds to match up a face with a pre-registered photo.
· Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2018
- Rajya Sabhapassed the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2018 The Bill gives statutory powers to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha with more than a two-thirds majority on 2nd August 2018.
- It was recommended that the government should make public the caste census findings, based on which the reservation policy should be formulated. The demand for having a woman member in the NCBC would be considered and the other demand that one member in the five-member body must be from the minority community was dropped.
· A three judge bench to hear the challenging Article 35A
- Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed that the Supreme Court will hear whether Article 35Ais violative of the basic structure of the Constitution. Article 35A gives special status to the State and people of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Basic structureis a collective term coined by a 13-judge Bench in the historic Keshavananda Bharati case to include a catena of fundamental rights, including the right to equality, non-discrimination, liberty, life and dignity, enshrined and preserved in the Constitution.
- The challenge to Article 35A is being heard by a three-judge Bench. The Bench will determine whether the case should be referred to a Constitution Bench. It adjourned the case for hearing on August 26.
· Uttarakhand 1st state to give ID cards to Gau Rakshaks
- Gau rakshaks are protectors of cows who will now be known as gau sanrakshaks– which means ‘guardians of cows’.
- The initiative has been taken to distinguish genuine gau rakshaks from ruffians who resort to violence in the name of cow protection.
- Genuine gau rakshaks from six of the total 13 districts in Uttarakhand have been identified and will be issued identity cards.
· India’s moon mission Chandrayaan 2 launch delayed for 2nd time
- The launch of India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2has been delayed for the second time from October to January next year.
- Chandrayaan-2 will be ISRO’s first time attempt to land aroveron the Moon.
- The launch was first planned in April and was pushed to October.
- ISRO faced two setbacks this year, losing communication with GSAT-6Asatellite and failing PSLV-C39
· Lok Sabha passed the SC/ST (PoA) Amendment Bill, 2018
- The Lok Sabha passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018. The Bill bypasses the recent ruling of the Supreme Court laying down procedures for arrests under the Act. The Bill will be now passed to the Rajya Sabha. The Bill insertsthree sections 18A (1) (a), 18A (1) (b) and 18A (2) in the 1989 Act.
- Section 18A (1) (a)of the Bill says Preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of an FIR against any person.
- Section 18A (1) (b)of the Bill says the investigating officer shall not require approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any person against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act has been made and no procedure, other than that provided under this Act or the Code, shall apply.
- Section 18A (2)of the Bill says the provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.
- PSU banks’ NPAs decline by Rs 1.29 lakh crore in FY18
- Public sector banks’ non-performing assets declined by Rs 1,28,229 crore in FY18 due to write-offs, including compromise settlement.
- This is about 60 per cent higher vis-a-vis the year ago period.
- This was stated by Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
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