Current Affairs – July 2015

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Pune’s Fergusson College wins heritage status of UGC

Pune’s prestigious Fergusson College, has been accorded the special heritage status by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

With the status, UGC will provide financial assistance for its upkeep. Now the college is among the 19 institutions in the country to get the heritage status.

About Fergusson College

  • Established: 1885.
  • Named after: James Fergusson, the then Governor of Bombay Presidency from April 1880 to March 1885.
  • Freedom fighters Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, R.G. Bhandarkar, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and M.G. Ranade were main force behind establishing this college.
  • The college has 65-acre campus and has buildings of Gothic architecture.
  • Since its formation, it has been regarded as a landmark educational institution in Maharashtra.
  • The alumni of college include numerous eminent personalities including two Prime Ministers (PV Narasimha Rao and Vishwanath Pratap Singh), theatre and film artists and writers.

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Telangana government, ICRISAT ink MoU to promote IT-based information for farmers

Telangana government and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) inked MoU to promote IT-based information for farmers.

The MoU seeks to provide Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based knowledge sharing platforms and other agricultural innovation initiatives to farmers in order to improve their productivity.

Under this innovative digital initiative expert systems delivery mechanism for real time advisories, information dissemination and improved access to market information will be revitalised.

It will also enable state government create new economic opportunities through digital agriculture and enable to create direct linkages between consumers and farmers.

Thus, partnership between both parties will help to boost collaboration in the field of digital agriculture along with agriculture value chain.

The MoU was signed by ICRISAT Director General David Bergvinson, C Parthasarathi, Secretary and Agriculture-Production Commissioner and Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, IT, Electronics & Communications of Telangana Government.

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SC issue notices to Centre, ECI to bring political parties under RTI Act

Supreme Court issued notices to the Union Government, Election Commission of India (ECI) on a plea to bring all political parties under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.

The notice was also issued to six National Political Parties viz. BJP, Congress, CPI, BSP, CPI (M) and NCP.

It was issued by 3 member SC bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The bench comprised of Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy .

In the PIL, the NGO had sought

  • Transparency and accountability in functioning of political parties.
  • Political parties should be more transparent in their working and accountable towards citizens as they play an important role in the formation of government, policy decisions and enactment of laws.
  • Compulsion on the political parties to declare all donations below 20,000 rupees.

The petition was filed in SC after the Central Information Commission (CIC) failed to bring the National Political Parties as Public Authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act. Earlier. CIC in its detailed order had declared that the Political Parties are public authorities and hence should disclose the information under RTI Act.

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