Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2016

MoEFCC declares Wild pig as vermin for year in Uttarakhand

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has declared Wild Pig (sus scrofa) as vermin in Uttarakhand for a year.

In this regard, MoEFCC has used its powers enshrined to it by section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972. For this purpose, ministry has shifted protected wild pig (listed in schedule III to the Act) in the vermin category to Schedule V of the Act for period of 1 year.


Earlier, Uttarakhand forest department had forwarded proposal to the MoEFCC to declare both wild pig and Neel Gai (blue bull) vermin. In its proposal, authorities had mentioned that due to overpopulation of these animals in the areas outside the forest, they have created havoc by harming life and property including large scale destruction of agriculture produce.

Note: MoEFCC has rejected  forest department’s proposal to declare Neel Gai (blue bull) vermin.

What does it mean?

  • This decision will allow state forest authorities and people to carry out an extermination (hunting/poaching) of wild pigs outside the reserve forest on a large scale.
  • To do so, they will no longer require permission from the forest or wildlife officials and thus their actions cannot attract penal provisions of the WPA.
  • It will seek to balance local population of the wild pigs to mitigate the damage to human life, crops and other properties in the state for ensuring conservation of wildlife in forests.

What is Vermin?

  • Vermin means wild mammals and birds which are harmful to crops, farm animals or which carry disease.
  • In India, wild animals can be declared as vermin if they have become (i) dangerous to human life or property (including standing crops on any land). (ii) become disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery.
  • Using these provisions, any animal listed in Schedule I to IV of WPA can be declared vermin by listing it in Schedule V for a specific period.
  • Currently, some animals like the common crow, fruit bats, mice and rats have been listed as vermin in Schedule V of WPA.


India, UAE ink 9 bilateral agreements for cooperation in various sectors 

India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed 9 bilateral agreements covering cooperation in the various sectors.

These agreements were signed during the second day of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi official visit to India.

Some Agreements are

  • MoU on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber Crime: Provides common platforms for both countries for technical cooperation in Cyber Space and in the area of Combating Cyber Crime.
  • MoU for Participation institutional investors in Infrastructure Investments: It will help to establish a framework to facilitate participation of UAE institutional investors in Infrastructure Investments in India.
  • General Framework Agreement on Renewable Energy Cooperation: Provides for bilateral cooperation through investments, extensive projects, cooperation in R & D in renewable, knowledge sharing platforms and clean energy.
  • MoU in the Exploration and use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes: Framework for cooperation in space technology, science and applications including satellite communication, remote sensing and satellite based navigation.
  • MoU on Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement: Promotes currency swap arrangement between the RBI & Central Bank of UAE for bilateral financial relations.
  • MoU on Trade: Facilitates both parties to exchange information on trade and business opportunities. It further facilitates procurement of Indian goods and services by UAE.
  • MoU for bilateral cooperation in Insurance sector: Aims at promoting cooperation between in the field of insurance supervision and increasing mutual understanding through regulatory and relevant supervisory information exchange.
  • Executive Programme for Cultural Cooperation (EPCC): Provides range of cultural exchange activities under the new EPCC from 2016 to 2018.
  • Letter of Intent for skill development and recognition of qualifications: Provides collaboration on mutual recognition of qualifications and skill developments.


Indian-origin lawyer Davinder Singh named vice-chairman of ICC commission

Indian-origin lawyer Davinder Singh (58) has been named as Vice-Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce Commission (ICC) on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption.

Mr. Singh is one of top Indian-origin lawyer in Singapore. Currently he is chief executive of the Singapore based law firm Drew & Napier. He was member of Singapore Parliament from 1988-2006.

About International Chamber of Commerce Commission (ICC)

  • ICC is Paris (France) based private sector world business organisation with a central role in global trade and commerce.
  • It brings together more than 300 members from 40 countries, representing multi-national companies (MNCs), law firms, trade associations, and small and medium-sized industries.
  • Commission Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption: It is one of the 13 policy commissions under the ICC. It forges mechanisms, international rules and standards used across the globe.
  • It develops rules of best practices, conduct and advocacy for fighting corruption among other things in the corporate sector.