1. Tainted Kalmadi, Chautala made IOA life presidents
Commonwealth Games corruption scandal tainted Suresh Kalmadi was made the life president of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in its annual general body meeting held in Chennai. Another tainted official Abhay Singh Chautala was also made the life president by the IOA.
Kalmadi served as IOA president from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption scandal but later released on bail.
Chautala served as the president of Indian Olympic Association from December 2012 to February 2014 when the IOA was suspended by the parent International Olympic Committee for fielding charge-sheeted candidates at the elections.
2. PM inaugurates ₹12k cr Char Dham highway project in U’khand
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Char Dham Highway Development Project in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun. The project aims to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Around 900 km of national highways will be developed in Uttarakhand under the project at an approximate cost of ₹12,000 crore.
The project will make travel to the Char Dham (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath) safer and more convenient. The project involves widening the existing, geometrically deficient highway that connects the four abodes.
3. Govt launches campaign for door-to-door screening of TB
To detect cases of latent infection, the government has launched a door-to-door screening campaign for tuberculosis (TB). The Union health ministry has started a campaign to find patients before they develop full-blown TB and put them on preventive treatment. The campaign has been launched in five Indian states, while the official launch will take place in January 2017.
Large-scale screening will be a part of several measures that are planned as part of the revised strategy to bring down TB cases by 50% in the next two years.
4. Govt to set up special units to probe crimes against women
The Modi government has decided to augment capacity of states in investigation of crimes like rape, acid attack, dowry death and human trafficking by setting up 200 special investigating units after identifying the “most crime-prone districts”. An affidavit filed by the Home Ministry in the Supreme Court said Investigative Units for Crime Against Women (IUCAW) will be set up on a 50:50 cost sharing basis with the states, subject to ceiling of Rs 28 lakh per unit.
5. Assam Government launches Health Insurance Scheme Atal-Amrit Abhiyan
Assam’s BJP led government has rolled out ‘Atal-Amrit Abhiyan’ health insurance scheme which will provide coverage against several critical illnesses. Launched to mark the 92nd birthday of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the scheme will offer coverage against 437 illnesses in six disease groups, namely, cardiovascular, cancer, kidney, neo-natal, neurological conditions and burns.
Both Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) families, with annual income below Rs 5 lakh, are eligible for the scheme.
6. China passes law to levy environment tax on polluters
China has passed a new law to levy environment tax on polluters, specially on heavy industries. The Environment Tax Law was adopted by the legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee which concluded its meeting here yesterday. However, carbon dioxide, one of the major contributors to global warming, is not included in the levying list. Under the new law, companies will pay taxes ranging from 350 yuan (USD 60) to 11,200 yuan (USD 1870) per month for noise, according to their decibel level.
7. China tests 5th-generation fighter jet FC-31 Gyrfalcon
China has tested the latest version of its fifth-generation stealth fighter. The new FC-31 has “better stealth capabilities, improved electronic equipment and a larger payload capacity” than the previous version which debuted in October 2012. The jet is manufactured by Shenyang Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC). The so-called “fifth-generation” twin-engine jet is China’s answer to the US F-35, the world’s most technically advanced fighter.
8. Saudi Arabia introduces tax on foreign workers
Saudi Arabia will introduce an “expat levy” on foreign workers with dependents from 2017, which was revealed during the country’s budget announcement. The fee will start at $26 (₹1,760) per month in July 2017 and will rise each year to reach $106 (₹7,178) a month in July 2020. It is unclear whether the fee will be assessed for each dependent.
9. Astronomy pioneer who helped discover dark matter dies at 88
Vera Rubin, a pioneering astronomer who helped find powerful evidence of dark matter, has died. Vera Rubin found that galaxies don’t quite rotate the way they were predicted, and that lent support to the theory that some other force was at work, namely dark matter. Dark matter, which hasn’t been directly observed, makes up 27 percent of universe — as opposed to 5 percent of the universe being normal matter. Rubin earned her doctorate from Georgetown University, where she later worked as a faculty member for several years before working at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, a nonprofit scientific research center.