Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

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Goldman Environmental Prize for Prafulla Samantra

Social activist Prafulla Samantra was announced one among six winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize for his “historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills from a massive, open-pit aluminum ore mine.”

The other five winners for this year are: Mark Lopez (United States); Uroš Macerl (Slovenia); Rodrigo Tot (Guatemala); Rodrigue Katembo (Democratic Republic of Congo); and Wendy Bowman (Australia).

Prafulla Samantra is a trained lawyer and has been involved in activism since the Jayprakash Narayan-movement. He was an iconic leader responsible for rallying tribes in Niyamgiri region of Odisha and made use of legal provisions to block mining-to-metals conglomerate Vedanta from setting up a bauxite mine there. Samantara was the first citizen to use law to halt the mining operations of Vedanta. As a result of his efforts, the company has been forced to suspend mining of bauxite from that region.

In its April 18, 2013, historic judgment, Supreme Court empowered local communities to have the final say in mining projects on their land. Subsequently, village councils of the Niyamgiri Hills unanimously voted against the mine. In August 2015, Vedanta announced the closure of its aluminium refinery in that region.

Samantara is only the sixth Indian to win the prize after Medha Patkar, M.C. Mehta, Rasheeda Bi, Champaran Shukla and Ramesh Agrawal since 1990 when the award was first instituted.

Goldman Environmental Prize

The Goldman Environmental Prize was created in 1990 to honour grassroots environmentalists undertaking risk to their lives for the cause of protecting the environment. The award is given to six persons, one from six geographical regions of the world, namely,  Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. The prize is given by Goldman Environmental Foundation having its headquarters in San Francisco. The prize is also called as the Green Nobel.

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National Youth Athletics Meet: Haryana is Champion

Haryana emerged champion beating Kerala at the National Youth Athletics Meet. Kerala was at the top place for the last five years. Haryana emerged champions with 166.5 points. Kerala has finished as the runners-up. However, Kerala managed to retain the team crown for girls while Haryana boys topped and won the boys’ title.

At the meet, Rohit Yadav improved his personal best in javelin throw and has a set a new meet record. Pole vaulter Nivya Antony of Kerala equaled her national youth record set at Coimbatore during the junior nationals.

The National youth athletics championships were held at the GMC Balayogi Athletics Stadium, Gachibowli, from April 21 to 23. The meet saw the participation of about 505 athletes.

The National youth athletics meet assumes importance as it was a selection meet for selecting Indian teams to participate in the Asian Championships in May in Bangkok and the World Youth Championships in Nairobi in July. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had requested the Director, Anti Doping Agency to depute technical delegates and officials for the conduct of the meet and to prevent misuse of banned substances.

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April 24: National Panchayati Raj Diwas

In India, April 24th is celebrated as National Panchayati Raj Diwas every year. This day marks the passing of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April 1993.

The passage of 73rd amendment is hailed as a defining moment in history as it permits states to take steps to organize village panchayats and provide them with necessary powers and authority necessary to facilitate them to function as units of self-government.

Every year on this day Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organises National Conference and awards best performing Gram Panchayats with ‘The Panchayat Shashakatikaran Puraskar/Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar’.

Background

The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010.

The 73rd Amendment 1992 added a new Part IX to the constitution titled “The Panchayats” covering provisions from Article 243 to 243(O); and a new Eleventh Schedule covering 29 subjects within the functions of the Panchayats.

73rd amendment implements the article 40 of the DPSP which says that “State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.”

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