Current Affairs and News Update 2nd September 2015

Current Affairs and News Update 2nd September 2015

1. Union Government releases Rs 2,000 crore for Employees’ Pension Scheme

Pension Scheme - News Update 2nd September

Pension Scheme – News Update 2nd September

Union Government has released 2,000 crore rupees to Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 as its contribution for the year 2015-16. This contribution is in addition to the 250 crore rupees contributed by the government as grant-in-aid in the EPS in order to provide minimum pension of 1,000 rupees to pensioners under the scheme. The contribution of Union government has been calculated at a rate of 1.16 per cent of the monthly wages of the members contributing to the scheme. In September 2015, Government had assured EPS pensioners a guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month. In order to meet this assurance it was necessary for the Government to infuse additional amount as grants-in- to sustain the continuance of the minimum pension. Employers contribute nearly 8.33% of the monthly wages of the scheme members. Approximately 28 lakh pensioners including five lakh widows will get benefit from this scheme. (There are total 44 lakh pensioners). Read More

2.Punjab Government wins award for achievement in rooftop solar power output

Solar Energy Corporation of India - News Update 2nd September

Solar Energy Corporation of India – News Update 2nd September

Punjab Government has won first award in the category of highest capacity addition in grid connected solar rooftop power in the country during the financial year 2014-15. It is one of 5 awards won by Punjab New and Renewable Energy Department (PNRED) for outstanding performance in the various fields of Renewable Energy and Power Generation. The other four areas in which Punjab won awards includes Highest capacity addition of off-grid waste to energy plants. Deployment of highest cumulative numbers of Solar Water Pumps. Achieving highest cumulative grid connected solar rooftop power capacity. Achieving highest capacity addition in grid connected solar power in the country. Read More

3.SC stays Rajasthan HC’s decision declaring ‘Santhara’ ritual illegal

Santhara' ritual - News Update 2nd September

Santhara’ ritual- News Update 2nd September

The Supreme Court (SC) of India has stayed Rajasthan High Court’s order declaring Santhara, a Jain ritual of voluntary and systematic fasting to death illegal. The stay order was given by SC Bench comprising Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy.

What is Santhara? Santhara is a religious custom of Jain religion that embraces voluntary death in order to purge oneself of bad ‘karma’ and attain ‘moksha’. The practitioners of this custom take an oath to stop eating until they die of starvation. This oath is taken in consultation with a guru and follows the most detailed of procedures. Background Earlier in August 2015, Rajasthan High Court had banned the practice of Santhara by declaring it as a criminal offence and mentioning it as illegal in the eyes of law. The High Court in its ruling had made this religious practice a punishable offence under section 306 (abetment of suicide) and Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Constitutional Validity Article 25: The Rajasthan High Court in its ruling had mentioned that as per Article 25, religious liberty and freedom is only limited to the scope of essential religious practices of particular religion. Read More

4. IS damages ancient Temple of Bel in Syria’s Palmyra

Temple of Bel - News Update 2nd September

Temple of Bel – News Update 2nd September

Islamic State (IS) militant group has destroyed part of historical Temple of Bel in the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria. The ancient temple was dedicated to the Palmyrene gods and was one of the best preserved parts of the historical sites of Palmyra. Key facts The ancient site of Palmyra in ancient times was one of the most important cultural centres and now has monumental ruins of great ancient city. The site boasts a number of monumental projects including more than thousand columns and more than 500 tombs. The art and architecture of this city is blend of Greco-Roman techniques with combination of local traditions and Persian influences, dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. The ancient city of Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was a major tourist attraction of Syria before it descended into civil war. Earlier in August 2015, IS militant group had destroyed the ancient Temple of Baalshamin in same region of Palmyra. Read More

5.Manipur assembly passes Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015

Manipur assembly - News Update 2nd September

Manipur assembly – News Update 2nd September

Manipur Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015 along with other two amendment bills to protect indigenous people of state. Other two bills are Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 and Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015. Apart from these bills, the assembly also passed a resolution welcoming the Peace Accord signed between the Union Government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN)-IM. Read More

6.Raghav Chandra took charge as the Chairman of NHAI

Senior IAS officer Raghav Chandra  took charge as the Chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Chandra succeeded Road Transport and Highways Secretary Vijay Chhibber.
Chandra is an IAS officer of the 1982 batch from Madhya Pradesh cadre. He has held several important positions in the central government and the government of Madhya Pradesh and has handled various crucial assignments in roads and transport sector in various capacities. Read More

7.Highest mountain of North America Mt McKinley renamed as Denali

The highest mountain of North America was renamed as Denali instead of its existing name Mt McKinley by US President Barack Obama. This designation will now recognize the sacred status of Denali to generations of Alaska Natives.
The mountain, which sits in the 6 million-acre Denali national park, has been known as Denali in Alaska since 1975. Now officially, the Denali name will be used by all and it will also take effect for all federal usage and on all official maps.
The change comes after a debate between lawmakers from Alaska and Ohio. Read More

News Stories from earlier this month
1 September 2015

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