Current Affairs 8th december 2015

  • Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha to fast track nuclear power projects

Image result for Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015 introduced in Lok Sabha to fast track nuclear power projectsUnion Government has introduced Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to facilitate and fast track setting up of new nuclear projects in the country.
It was introduced by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh. The Bill seeks to amend the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
Key provisions of the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Under the Act, a government company is one in which at least 51% of the paid-up share capital is held by the central government.  Paid-up share capital is the capital received by a company from the issue of shares.
  • Redefines paid-up share capitalExpands the definition of paid-up share capital in parent Act to include joint ventures (JV) of public sector undertakings (PSUs).
  • The whole of the paid up share capital would be held by one or more PSUs and empowers the Union government to constitute its Board of Directors for such JV.

  • Maharashtra becomes first state to allow MLAs raise online question
Image result for maharashtra vidhan sabhaThe Maharashtra legislature has become the first in the country to launch an online mechanism for its members to send questions and move different motions in the House.
In this regard state government has launched a website as part of Digital MLAs initiative in the winter session of state legislature in Nagpur.
Key facts
  • This system has been launched in an effort of state government to move towards complete digitization of the legislative process that aims at bringing the paper work to minimum.
  • All MLAs and MLCs have been given unique user names and passwords to access to website so that they can send their questions and requests online.
  • Facilitates them to move different motions like calling attention and half-an-hour discussion questions for legislature sessions.
  • The system has been designed by the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL).

  • Lok Sabha passes High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015
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Lok Sabha has passed The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015
The Bill amends the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958 and the High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954.
Key features of Bill
  • The Bill aims at removing anomalies in pensionary benefits of High Court judges elevated from the bar.
  • Seeks to bring uniformity and do away with the indiscrimination of salaries and pensions for judges elevated from the Bar
  • Pension payable to HC judges: For the purpose of providing pension, a period of 10 years will be added from April 2004 to the service of a Judge. This provision would be applicable to a HC judge who has been an advocate of a HC for at least 10 years.
  • Casual leave for SC and HC judges: The casual leave for SC and HC judges will be computed in a manner to be prescribed. The previous 1954 and 1958 Acts provided leave to judges on full allowances and half allowances respectively.
  • Leave allowances of HC judges: Henceforth Judges would have the option of availing leave on partly full and partly half allowances or full allowances, half allowances specified in the 1954 and 1958 Acts.
  • Joining time allowance for HC judges: Deletion of provision in 1954 Act that provides for an allowance at the rate of Rs.1110 per month instead of salary to HC judges in relation to joining time on his return from leave out of India.

  • Centre-right MUD coalition wins 2015 Parliamentary election of Venezuela
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Opposition Centre-right Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition has won the 2015 Parliamentary elections of Venezuela.
The MUD coalition won at least 99 seats in the 167-seat legislature of the National Assembly by defeating ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) led by President Nicol├ís Maduro.
In this election, PSUV won 46 seats and remaining candidates from different parties have won 22 seats. With this, the 17 years of socialist ruling regime came to an end which was founded by former President Hugo Chavez in 1999.
2015 Parliamentary election for the 167 members of the National Assembly of Venezuela was held on 6 December 2015 and was based on a mixed majoritarian system. Under this system, of the total 167 members, 113 members are elected by first-past-the-post voting in 87 constituencies.
51 seats are elected by closed list of proportional representation based on the 23 states and the Capital District and the seats are allocated using the d’Hondt method. The remaining 3 seats are reserved for indigenous peoples and are elected by the community.
VenezuelaIt is oil-rich Latin American country located on the northern coast of South America. Presently, the country is facing worst economic slowdown due to due to continuing low price of oil in the international market as it is its main export commodity. It also has the highest inflation rate around 100 per cent in 2015 in the South America.

  • First red alert on pollution declared in Beijing

Image result for First red alert on pollution declared in BeijingThe Chinese government has issued its first red alert on pollution (smog) it its Capital Beijing due to hazardous air quality caused by severe air pollution.
The warning was an upgrade from the previous second highest orange alert. The red alert is the most serious (highest) warning on a four-tier system of emergency air-pollution response system was adopted in 2013.
Under the alert
  • Government has advised schools to be voluntarily close unless they had good air filtration systems.
  • Half of private cars in the capital city would be also ordered off the road during the period with an odd-even number plate system in force.
  • The other extra measures to be enforced include halting outdoor construction, banning fireworks and outdoor cooking.
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter in recent times is grappling with the serious chronic problem of the air pollution leading to smog in cities. Most of the pollution is caused by the coal-fired power plants along with vehicle emissions, heating systems and construction and factory work.
Particulate matter (PM) 2.5
Readings of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 particles in Beijing also has climbed 300 micrograms per cubic meter which is far more than World Health Organization (WHO) permissible limit of 25 per cubic meter.
PM2.5 are fine particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter that may occur naturally or from anthropogenic activities like human industrial processes. They often reach the lungs causing lifelong respiratory disease and may be fatal if it mixes into the bloodstream.

  • Name of rocket which was used to lift off Cygnus Cargo Spaceship to ISS - Atlas V rocket
Image result for Name of rocket which was used to lift off Cygnus Cargo Spaceship to ISS - Atlas V rocketUnited Launch Alliance Atlas V (401 configuration) rocket carrying the OA-4 Cygnus cargo spacecraft was lifted off towards International Space Station (ISS). This cargo spacecraft is much needed as it will carry food, clothing, computer gear, spacewalk equipment, science experiments and other supplies. As before it many attempts were failed to send this supply.