Socio-Economic Current Affairs

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Life imprisonment to China Communist Party Leader Bo Xilai

A Chinese court in east China’s Shandong province sentenced top China Communist Party leader Bo Xilai to life imprisonment uphelding the charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power against him. The court also stripped Bo of all political rights and ordered the confiscation of his property.

Who is Bo Xilai and what is his case?

Screenshot_3Bo Xilai is a former Chinese politician. He hit to the fame through his tenures as the mayor of Dalian province and later governor of Liaoning. He also served as Minister of Commerce. Between 2007 and 2012 he served as a member of the Central Politburo and secretary of the Communist Party’s Chongqing branch.

His political career overturned following the Wang Lijun incident, in which his top lieutenant and police chief sought asylum at the American consulate in Chengdu and revealed details of Bo’s alleged involvement in a homicide plot. Following this incident, Bo was removed as the chief of the Chongqing city in 2013 and sacked from the ruling party following allegations of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power against him. He was also accused of receiving 20 million Yuan (3.5 Million US Dollars) as bribes and owning a luxury villa in France.


Three members of National Ganga River Basin Authority resign

Three expert members- Rajendra Singh, Ravi Chopra and Rashid Siddiqui resigned from the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) which was set up with the objective of protecting the Ganga from pollution and overuse.  The members were disquieted over the fact that the National Ganga River Basin Authority has not met since April 2012, especially in the wake of continued government indifference on101st day of professor GD Agrawal’s fast for Ganga.

Key points about the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)

Established: February 20, 2009 under Section 3(3) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which also declared Ganges as the “National River” of India.

Authority: Financing, planning, implementing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the Ganges River, functioning under the Ministry of Environment of India.

Mission: Protect the drainage basin which feeds water into the Ganges by protecting it from pollution or overuse.

Ex-Officio Chairman: Prime Minister

Other members:  Union Ministers concerned and the Chief Ministers of states through which Ganga flows, viz., Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, among others.

Who is G.D. Agarwal?

G.D. Agarwal alias Swami Gyan Swaroopanand (80) is a noted environmentalist and former Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) professor. He has served as a secretary of the Central Pollution Control Board, the country’s premier anti-pollution body, and helped put together environmental legislation in India. He has been on a fast- unto-death for over 101 days now to save the Ganga River and is determined to continue his fast albeit he is physically worn out. He is notable for his successful fast in 2009 to stop the damming of the Bhagirathi River.

His major concern is the inadequate and ineffectual operation of the NGRBA. He is also against on-going construction of dams/barrages/tunnels on Ganga which would completely destroy the natural flow regimes and quality of the river water, inability of the regulatory agencies in checking discharge of urban and industrial wastes into the Ganga and complete lack of sensitivity of the government on these environmental issues.

Established: February 20, 2009 under Section 3(3) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which also declared Ganges as the “National River” of India.


Govt of India launches Jiyo Parsi scheme

With the aim to contain the dwindling population of Parsis in India, the Jiyo Parsi scheme has been launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India.

What is Jiyo Parsi scheme?

Jiyo parsi scheme has the objective of reversing the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting scientific protocol and structured interventions, stabilize the Parsi population and increase the population of Parsis in India.

Key features of the Jiyo Parsi scheme:
  • 100% financed by Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India.
  • Medical interventions under Standard Medical protocols in select hospitals/clincs.
  • Confidentiality of the patients to be given utmost importance.
Who will be the target group under Jiyo Parsi scheme?

The scheme is designed only for Parsi community. It will be available for Parsi married couples of child bearing age who seek assistance and adults/young men/women/adolescent boys/girls for diagnosis of diseases.