Current Affairs – July, 2018

Latest Current Affairs July, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of July, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Lok Sabha passes Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018

Lok Sabha has passed Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 that aims to curb practice of evading criminal prosecution by economic offenders fleeing from country to evade clutches Indian law by remaining outside jurisdiction of Indian courts.. The bill will replace an ordinance promulgated by President in April 2018.

Key Features of Bill

Fugitive economic offender (FEO): It has been defined as person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for committing an offence listed in schedule (enlisted in the this law) by any court in India, but he leaves or has left India to avoid criminal prosecution or  refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution. It is applicable in cases where total value involved in such economic offences is Rs.100 crore or more.

Special Court: It establishes Special Court under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 to declare a person as FEO. The court will appoint ‘administrator’ to oversee confiscated property. It will be responsible for disposing of confiscated property and t property will be used to satisfy creditors’ claims.

Attachment of property: It empowers director or deputy director (appointed under Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002) to attach any property mentioned in application with permission of special court. These properties can be attached provisionally without the prior permission of the special court for 30 days. The attachment will continue for 180 days, unless it is extended by special court. If at the conclusion of proceedings, person is not found to be FEO, his properties will be released.

Bar on filing or defending civil claims: The bill allows any civil court or tribunal to disallow person declared FEO, from filing or defending any civil claim. Further, any company or limited liability partnership where FEO is majority shareholder, then promoter, or a key managerial person (such as MD or CEO) will also be barred from filing or defending civil claims.

Powers of director: The director or deputy director will have powers vested of civil court. These powers include entering a place on the belief that individual is FEO and directing searching of building or seizing documents.

Appeal: Under this law, appeals against orders of special court will lie before High Court.

Background

There have been several instances of economic offenders (eg Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi) fleeing country to evade clutches Indian law to remain outside jurisdiction of Indian courts. The absence of such offenders from Indian courts has several deleterious consequences. It hampers investigation in criminal cases, wastes precious time of courts of law, undermines rule of law in India.

Further, most such cases of economic offences involve non-repayment of bank loans thereby worsening financial health of banking sector. Moreover, existing non-coherent civil and criminal provisions in law are not entirely adequate to deal with severity of problem. This bill will provide effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent legal teeth to enforcing agencies to ensure that such actions of FEO are curbed.

National Mission for Clean Ganga organizes Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) had organised Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan in five main Ganga basin states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The drive was launched on 9th July 2018 for a week upto 15 July 2018 which was observed as ‘Shubharambh Saptah’.

Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan

The campaign was initiated as part of Forest Interventions in Ganga (FIG) component of Namami Gange programme. It aimed to bring greater awareness among people and other stakeholders regarding importance of afforestation for task of Ganga Rejuvenation.

The state forest departments of these five states were nodal agencies for the smooth and effective execution of the campaign. It also saw participation from Ganga VicharManch (GVM), Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), NGOs and educational institutions.

Under this campaign, number of schools, colleges and departments were requested to “Adopt a Plant” for making it people’s movement. Besides, various seminars, workshops, lectures, drawing and painting competitions etc. were organized on sidelines of this campaign.

Dehradun based Forest Research Institute (FRI) had prepared Detailed Project Report (DPR) to implement the afforestation project in a scientific manner. On basis of DPR, State Forest Departments carried out their plantation activities.

Some of plants that were planted during campaign are Kanji, Siras, Chhitvan, Mango, Sheesham, Farmis, Jamun, Arjun, Gutal, Neem, Sagwan, Saal, Mahogni, Ber, Semal, Jungal Jalebi, Gulmohar, Kadam, Bamboo, Karaonda, Ashwagandha, Curry Patta, Jathrofa, Beheda, Dhatura, Sarpgandha etc.

Importance of Afforestation in Ganga Basin

Forests cause higher rainfall and raise water level in the river basins. Through their foliage, abundant leaf litter and craggy bark, trees and forests decrease speed of water dispersion. It favours slow but greater infiltration of rainwater to ensure smooth functioning of hydrological cycle.

Moreover, presence of healthy forest cover along river provides self-cleaning ability to river. Thus, afforestation and augmentation of existing forest cover along Ganga River holds promise to strengthen riparian ecosystem thereby contributing to  overarching cause of Ganga Rejuvenation.

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)

NMCG is implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (also referred as National Ganga Council). It was established in 2011 as registered society under Societies Registration Act, 1860.

It has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General (DG), NMCG. Executive Committee is authorized to approve projects under mission up to Rs.1000 crore.

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