Current Affairs April 2015

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Union Government extends National Food Security Act deadline by 6 months

Union Government again has extended rolling out deadline for National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 by six months.

It was announced by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in order to give more time to states to roll out NFSA. The extension will help remaining states adopt and implement the law within next six months.

It is third time, this deadline has been extended and the second deadline was to end on 4 April 2015.

So far only 11 states and Union Territories (UTs) have implemented NSFA which was passed by Parliament in September 2013. Remaining 25 states/UTs have not implemented it yet.

11 states and UTs that have implemented NSFA fully or partially are- Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Facts about National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013

  • NSFA aims at providing legal entitlement to 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains to the identified person per month.
  • Grains like wheat, rice and coarse grain will be distributed at the price of 3 Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children are entitled to get meals under the prescribed nutrition by MDM and ICDS. The age group would be 6 months to 14 years.
  • NFSA 2013 will provide high nutrition food to the age group of 6 years.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to get maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.


Malli Mastan Babu, India’s ace mountaineer passes away

Malli Mastan Babu, one of India’s top mountaineers passed away. His dead body was recovered in the Andes Mountains between Argentina and Chile after  he went missing on 24th March, 2015 during an expedition to Cerro Tres Cruces Sur.

Babu was regarded as the fastest “7 summiteer” that is fastest mountaineer to climb summits in all seven continents from India. In 2006, he had famously scaled 7 summits of the world in record 172 days.

He was the first Indian mountaineer to summit the tallest peak in Antarctica, Mt Vinson Massif. He was also the first person from Andhra Pradesh to scale the Mt Everest.

He was also known for fast climbing and in 2005, he had summitted Mt Kilimanjaro in three and half days. In his 15 years mountaineering career, he had summitted more than 150 mountains.

Babu hails from Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and was a 2000-2002 IIM Kolkata pass out. He also had a degree from IIT Kharagpur.


President Pranab Mukherjee gives assent to re-promulgation of Land Ordinance

President Pranab Mukherjee on 3 April 2015 gave his assent to re-promulgate the Land Acquisition Ordinance as per Article 123 of Constitution.

Earlier, in this regard Union Cabinet had made a recommendation to President as present Land Acquisition Ordinance promulgated in December 2014 is going to lapse on 5 April.  

The new ordinance includes 9 amendments that were part of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Lok Sabha had passed the bill in the budget session in March 2015. However, the bill is pending before the Rajya Sabha, where government is in minority.

Earlier, President had prorogued the 234th session of the Rajya Sabha in order to pave the way for re-issuing of the Ordinance as per provisions of Constitution.

Article 123 of Constitution

  • It gives legislative power to President. He can issue ordinances when Parliament is in recess i.e. not in session if there is urgent need to have a law on some urgent public matter.
  • The ordinance has similar effect to an act of parliament. However, every ordinance must be laid and approved by both houses of the parliament within 6 weeks from the reassembling.
  • If not placed and approved by both houses of the parliament after reassembling it becomes invalid or lapses.