Current Affairs : December 2014

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National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill gets President’s assent

President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill, 2014 that seeks to scrap the collegium system of appointing judges to higher judiciary.

This bill lays down the procedure that must be followed by NJAC for appointment as Chief Justice of India (CJI) and other Judges of the Supreme Court (SC), and appointment and transfer Chief Justice and other Judges of High Courts (HC). This bill was passed by Parliament in August 2014.

This assent comes after 121st Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2014 was ratified by 16 state legislatures out of the 29.

121st Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2014: It grants Constitutional status to the NJAC and its composition which will be headed by the Chief Justice of India.

Thus, President Assent paves the way for the setting up of NJAC, which will appoint and transfer judges to the Supreme Courts and the 24 High Courts.

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Commercial power generation begins at Kudankulam Nuclear power plant

India’s largest nuclear reactor at Kudankulam has started generating electricity on a commercial basis after it received green signal from Nuclear Power Corporation(NPC).

This 1000 MW reactor made with Russia’s help is generating electricity only on an experimental basis after its turbine had suffered damage a few months ago. After repairing these damages it has started generating full 1000 MW of power.

Power generated form this reactor will provide much needed relief to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka and Kerala where power output will be augmented.

The reactor made at a cost of over Rs. 8000 crores has been much delayed and activists have called it ‘unsafe’.

The second 1000 MW unit at Kudankulam is likely to come online in 2015.

Facts about Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu with a capacity of generating 2000 MW with 2 reactors.

Advantages of KNPP

  • It’s a technologically proven design.
  • Inbuilt safety features to minimize the risk of any radiation leaks.
  • The location is least earthquake prone area.
  • Its height ensures safety from potential tsunamis.

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Second National Biodiversity Conference-2015 will be held in Kerala

The National Biodiversity Conference (NBC)-2015 will be held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala from 23rd to 27th February.

It will be second edition of this biodiversity conference and its focal theme for 2015 is ‘Biodiversity: Access and Benefit Sharing’.

NBC is being organized as the most important biodiversity mega event of India, under the auspices of MoEF and National Biodiversity Authority and all other organisations involved in conservation and promotion of biodiversity in the country.

2 edition of NBC will consists of conference, workshops and exhibitions that will help to create awareness for accounting natural capital as a national asset.

All conservation leaders and natural resource managers are going to participate in this conference to promote sustainable development.

Background: It is a biennial event and first NBC was organized by Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) in Thiruvananthapuram. The theme of NBC 2012 was “Biodiversity for food security”.

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