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National News-Daily Digest


1. Cautiously, SC Collegium puts its foot down: Reiterates decision to elevate Justice Joseph

 Despite objections from the Centre, the Supreme Court Collegium stood by its recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice Justice K M Joseph as judge of the apex court. The move comes two weeks after the Union Law Ministry asked the Collegium to reconsider its January 10 proposal to elevate him.

2. Set up sexual harassment probe panels in courts: Supreme Court

 The Supreme Court  asked Chief Justices of High Courts across the country to set up anti-sexual harassment at workplace committees in High Courts and district courts within two months. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said the committees should be constituted in accordance with the mandate of The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013 and the Vishaka case guidelines of the Supreme Court to protect women in workplaces.


3. India & Peru signs an agreement in field of Renewable Energy at Lima

 India and Peru signed an agreement in the field of Renewable Energy at Lima. The pact was signed in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva Arevalo.

Vice President’s visit comes at a time when India is celebrating the 55th anniversary of establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Peru.Mr Naidu, is in Lima on the last leg of his visit to three Central American nations Guatemala, Panama and Peru.


 4. World’s second oldest rock is from Odisha

 Scientists have found world’s second oldest rock from Champua in Odisha’s Kendujhar district, which is an estimated 4240 million years old.

Geologists from the University of Calcutta and Curtin University, Malaysia, along with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, made the discovery, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The only instance of zircon older than this discovery was the one found in Jack Hill, Western Australia, which was 4,400 million years old and is the oldest known rock sample. But the zircon in this case was from metamorphosed sedimentary rock, unlike the Singhbhum one, which was formed from magma.

Thus, the Singhbhum rock from where the zicron was recovered is the second oldest and its zircon, the oldest magmatic zircon on earth.


5. To contain suicides, BSF plans annual mental health tests

 Trying to contain suicides among paramilitary forces, the BSF has made it mandatory for all its personnel to undergo an annual test to determine their mental health. Based on how they fare in the test, soldiers will be assigned duties and corrective measures taken. Until now only annual physical tests were held to see if soldiers were fit to discharge their duties.

The BSF has also come up with a broad set of guidelines on ensuring recreational time for soldiers, holding periodic meetings on the pattern of Alcoholics Anonymous where they can share personal stories, mandatory interviews for all those returning from leave, and an informal mechanism to address grievances.

The steps follow year-long research, where the force studied the pattern of suicides by its personnel and analysed the reasons for the same. Two hundred BSF medics were then trained in clinical psychology in consultation with psychiatrists from London to conduct the tests to determine mental health of jawans. The programme is being called ‘Holistic Well-Being Intervention’ so as to avoid stigma related to mental illness.


 6. SC nod for compensation scheme for sexual assault, acid attack victims- ‘Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018’

 The Supreme court has approved the ‘Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018’. A victim of gangrape in any part of the country would now get a minimum compensation of Rs five lakh up to a maximum of Rs 10 lakh. This is part of a scheme proposed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) on compensating the victims of sexual assaults and acid attacks, which was approved by the Supreme Court, which directed that it would be applicable across the country.

As per the ‘Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes-2018’, in case of rape and unnatural sexual assault, the victim would get a minimum of Rs four lakh and maximum of Rs seven lakh as compensation.

The states and union territories would be free to give compensation over and above what was stipulated in the scheme.

The victim of acid attacks, in case of disfigurement of face, would get a minimum compensation of Rs 7 lakh, while the upper limit would be Rs 8 lakh. In an acid attack cases, if the injury is more than 50 per cent, a minimum compensation of Rs five lakh would be given, while the maximum would be Rs eight lakh.

Similarly, the scheme also provides for compensation amount in cases of acid attacks where the injury is less than 50 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. Victims of burning cases would get a minimum compensation of Rs 7 lakh and maximum of Rs 8 lakh in case of disfigurement, the scheme said.

It said that in case of pregnancy on account of rape, the victim would get a compensation ranging from Rs three lakh to Rs four lakh, while for miscarriage or loss of fertility due to such assaults, the victim would get Rs two lakh to Rs three lakh.


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